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Vol. 30 - 2007 

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Vol. 30 - 2007 

PETER F. IRWIN, Worshipful Master 

39 Bloomsgrove Ave., Port Hope, Ont. 

L1A1X3 905-885-2018 



R.R #1, Milford, Ontario K9K 2P0 




3864 Main Street, Jordan, Ont. LOR 1S0 
905-562-8269 e-mail: 



1037 Patricia Street, London, Ont. N6A 3V3 

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1250 Sunbury Rd., R.R. #2, Inverary KOH 1K0 - 613-353-6708 

15 Cassells Drive, R.R. #2, Beeton LOG 1A0 - 905-775-2190 


Subject Page 

Preface 271 

Peter F. Irwin, Worshipful Master 272 

Presentation: Brock University Library 

By Gary L. Atkinson, Grand Master 273 

Annual Heritaae Banquet Address - 
Traditional Values and Traditional Lodge Models 

By Terrence V. Horner 275 

Freemasonry in The First World War 

By Daniel Glenney 283 

The United Empire Loyalists and Freemasonry 

By Robert C. McBride 295 

One Canada - John George Diefenbaker 

By David R. Dainard 315 

Our Departed Brethren 324 

The Heritage Lodge Past Masters 328 

Committee Chairmen 329 

The Heritage Lodge Officers 330 

The contributors to these Proceedings are alone 
responsible for the opinions expressed and also 
for the accuracy of the statements made therein, 
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The 
Heritage Lodge A.F. & A.M., No. 730 G.R.C. 


There are many ways to judge success in any endeavour. 
In the context of looking back over a year in the life of a 
Masonic lodge, it is a complex task. 

In this, our 30th year, all the speakers excelled: the 
evidence is in this volume. They exemplified the high quality 
of presentations that we have become so used to at Heritage 
Lodge meetings. Every one picked a great topic, and every 
one was enthralling. I am so pleased with each of the brethren 
who spoke during this year. 

I am extraordinarily proud of Heritage Lodge's officers: 
with our very diverse backgrounds and experiences. We 
didn't always agree on issues at the Committee of General 
Purposes meetings but the discussion was always 
constructive, insightful and intelligent. By the end of each 
meeting, an agreeable consensus was obtained on every topic. 
Heritage Lodge will be in fine hands for the foreseeable 
future. What an incredible group of individuals! 

Even with our wonderful speakers and the efforts of our 
superb officers, after much reflection I decided that the basis 
upon which I will grade this lodge year is the amount of 
support we provided for historical projects. Support can be 
advice and guidance and voluntary assistance, all of which 
our members provided in abundance. However, in practical 
terms, financial backing is often also needed to bring 
worthwhile projects to ftuition. Aside from our ongoing 
support of the Black Creek Pioneer Village Masonic Temple 
and the Brock University rare Masonic book collection, we 
supported projects across Ontario including restoration of 
Masonic headstones in a pioneer cemetery on Amherst 
Island.. We need to ensure that our reasons for being proud 
are preserved and that our good work is perpetuated. 

I am honoured to have been granted the opportunity to 
serve you, the Freemasons of Ontario, as the Worshipful 
Master of your lodge of research, and it is an experience I 
will always treasure. 

Fraternally and most sincerely, Peter F. Irwin, W.M. 



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"S". WXV.S \ '^.^■•X*.^^^^«\'J«s^■^■vN^ 

R.W.Bro. Peter F. Irwin, B.A.Sc., M.B.A., PMP, P.Eng., CEM 

Curriculum Vitae 
Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario 

Grand Senior Warden 1999-2000 

South Centra] Ontario Coordinator for Grand Lodge Education Committee 

Served on Grand Lodge Committees: 

Seminars and Workshops, Buildings, Computer Resources, 
Membership Resources, Officer Progression, Education 

Craft Lodges 

Worshipful Master - Cedar Lodge 270, Oshawa, Ontario District 1 995 
Affiliate. - Kilwinning Lodge 565, Toronto, West Toronto District 
Pipe Major - Kilwinnmg Lodge Pipe Band 

Worshipful Master - Heritage Lodge 730 G.R.C., Research Lodge 2007 
Officer- Millennium Lodge 743 G.R.C., Masonic Foundation Lodge 2000 
At least sixth generation Freemason 

Appendant Orders (Life Member of all the following) 

Ontario Dist. Past Masters, Worshipful Masters and Wardens Association 

Keystone Chapter 35, Royal Arch, Whitby 

Hiram Council 24 Cryptic Rite, Peterborough 

Kawartha Lakes Lodge 2 1 Royal Ark Mariners, Peterborough 

Quinte York Rite College 53, Belleville 

Philalethes Society, Lancaster, Virginia, U.S.A. 

Toronto Grand Lodge of Perfection, A.A.S.R. 14 degree 

Toronto Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix, A.A.S.R., 18 degree 

Moore Sovereign Consistory , A.A.S.R., 32 degree, Hamilton 

St. John the Almoner Preceptory 1 5 Knights Templar, Oshawa 

Kente Tabernacle 1 18 Holy R.Arch Knight Templar Priests, Belleville 

Rameses Shriners, A. A.O.Nobles, Toronto: 100 Million Dollar Club 

Member; Sneaker Fund Contributor; Legion of Honour Member 



St. Catharines, Ontario 
October 29, 2006 

by M.W.Bro. Gary L. Atkinson 

Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Canada 
in the Province of Ontario 

Dr. Jack Lightstone, President of the Brock University; 
Margaret Grove, University Librarian; Mr. David Sharron, 
Head of the Special Collections and Archives; Members of 
the Brock University Facility, Distinguished Guests, Ladies 
and Gentlemen: 

It is indeed a personal pleasure for me to join with you 
today, and to be part of this very special afternoon ... an 
afternoon when tribute and recognition is given to those who 
have bestowed their time, their support and their many 
contributions, so those of the future will know and appreciate 
the past. 

As the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, in 
the Province of Ontario, and on behalf of the 55,000 
Freemasons in this Province, I am delighted to recognize the 
Special Masonic Editions Collection, donated to the Library 
by Dr. Charles Sankey, Mr. Lawrence Runnalls, as well as the 
Standring Family - for research and preservation. 



Dr. Sankey is no stranger to Brock University. He has 
served this University well over the years, including his 
tenure as Chancellor. 

Dr. Sankey in a few short months will reach that special 
milestone of being a Mason for 80 years. He is a man who is 
respected by many: who leads by example and always has the 
time for everyone, regardless of one's station in life. His sage 
counsel is still sought even to this day. 

There are many within our organization that I would like 
to recognize for the work that they have done in co-ordinating 
this event and acting as the liaison with our Grand Lodge and 
Brock University. Without their assistance our part in this 
presentation would not have come to fruition. 

Through the generous contribution of our Heritage Lodge 
No. 730, a Masonic Lodge that ensures the preservation of 
our Masonic Heritage, we are here with you to make this 

It is my pleasure to call on Ebrahim Washington and Sam 
Forsythe to make this presentation. 

V.W.Bro. Sam Forsythe, Lodge Secretary, then said: 

It is with great pleasure we present the James A. Gibson 
Library with our donation of $10,000 to assist in preserving 
the Masonic Collection of Charles A. Sankey, Lawrence 
Runnalls and the Standring Family. 

We hope this donation will enable the Library to purchase 
more books, sponsor public awareness of the Collection, and 
conserve and ensure the health of the Collection. 

Then W.Bro. Ebrahim Washington eloquently presented 
Dr. Jack Lightstone, the President, with a cheque for 
$10,000.00 on behalf of The Heritage Lodge No. 730 G.R.C. 





Twenty-Second Annual Black-Tie Banquet 

Scarborough Masonic Temple 
Monday, January 29, 2007 

Eighty-six years ago almost to the day, Edith Vanderbilt, 
one of the richest woman in the world became the first 
woman to address the joint session of the General Assembly 
of North Carolina. 

In her opening, she said it had been brought to her 
attention that the length of a good presentation was similar to 
a modern woman 's skirt. It should be long enough to cover 
the subject . . . but short enough, to make it interesting. 
With this in mind, the subject for tonight is Traditional 
Values and the Traditional Lodge Model, with a subtitle. Ws 
about time. 

The Traditional Values referred to are those, which I 
believe, have attracted good men to Freemasonry for over 400 

• Fraternity: Masonry is a Fraternity known for Political and 
Religious tolerance and for Intellectual Pursuits. 

• Mystery and Privileges: There seems to be no question, that 
the mystery, secrecy and anticipated privileges were very 

• Membership: Applicants must be Good Men, believe in a 
Supreme Being and seek admission. The process was very 
selective. Not all men found Masonry consistent with their 
personal goals. 



• Admission: By Initiation. 

• Meetings: Lodges met in local Taverns or Inns, were 
relatively small and were ruled by a Master and his Wardens. 

• Lessons: The lessons were conveyed through Ritual 
involving symbols, allegory and prose. 

• Education: Education was paramount as the lessons 
contained in each degree had to be thoroughly understood 
before advancement. Memory work was essential. 

• Socializing: Time; lots of time was allocated to discussion 
- over good food and drink. 

• Cost: Masonry was relatively expensive. Prior to 1940, 
Initiation represented up to four weeks wages; Annual dues, 
up to two weeks wages. Today this would approximate 
$1,000.00 for Initiation and $250.00 to $500.00 for Dues. 

• Charity: Masons were known for their charitable work and 
had a reputation for taking care of their own. 

So we had a Gentleman's Fraternity, filled with mysteries 
and privileges, for men of good reputation, who believed in 
a God, who met behind closed doors in small intimate Lodges 
and who only accepted a few men each year. It was expensive 
to join and remain a member. Ample time and money was 
provided for both Lodge / Ritual and Festive Board / 
Socializing. The pace was slow. 

What would be the immediate benefit of a slower pace 
today? Good question. 

One of the remarkable things about our fraternity is that 
one can witness or participate in the ceremonies, month after 
month, year after year and hear a particular word or phrase 
over and over. Suddenly a light goes on and that word or 
phrase takes on a whole new meaning or significance. This 
would seem to support an old Buddhist saying. When the 
student is ready, a teacher will appear. That teacher is most 
often a person, but could simply be a word or a phrase. Time 
seems to be a special factor. 

We tell our student/candidates today that 28 days must 
elapse before he can advance. Further, he must demonstrate 
an understanding of the degree and prove his proficiency. 
Apart from the fact this exiting information leaves most 
candidates a little apprehensive. Proof of proficiency today 
seems to be singularly a matter of memory work. 

For the purpose of this presentation I was reminded of one 
precept or quality that ties together many lessons and cannot 



be fully appreciated in 28 days. 

This Quality is emphasized in the General Charge at 
Installation. In the first paragraph it says: IVe should unite in 
the Grand Design of being happy and communicating 
happiness. In the fourth paragraph it is expanded, and then 
will be attained the chief point in Freemasonry, namely, to 
endeavour to be happy ourselves and communicate that 
happiness to others. 

The Chief Point in Freemasonry then, is to be happy. 

So what is this happiness Masons can have? How do we 
define it. More importantly, how do we get it? 

There is absolutely no doubt, in my mind, our Masonic 
lessons can lead us to happiness. To illustrate the simple yet 
profound process and the importance of time, I refer to a book 
by Dr. Dan Baker titled. What Happy People Know. 

Dr. Baker states that most people have a very narrow 
view of happiness, thinking it's a mood - as in I feel good all 
the time, or an emotion - as in experiencing the joy of your 
child's first step or word, especially if it's Dada. 

But Dr. Baker's studies show that happiness is neither a 
mood nor an emotion. It is an overriding outlook, comprised 
of qualities such as; Love, Fulfilment, Courage and Optimism 
which over time will become a Way of Life. In Masonry we 
hear this often. Isn't Masonry, in fact, a way of life? 

Contrary to popular assumption, happiness is a very rare 
quality and its greatest enemy is fear, A deep fear not brought 
on by today's news headlines (that's an additional fear), but 
a fear innate in each of us. The good news is we also have the 
capacity to overcome fear and as Baker says rise from 
Darkness into Light. Isn't this amazing. Baker must surely be 
a mason. He concludes that happiness is the by-product of 
twelve indispensable qualities. These qualities are not 
required in equal amounts but most, if not all must be 
abundant enough to experience happiness through the tough 
times which, on occasion, life throws at us. He also stresses 
happiness does not happen all at once. Rather it is a slow 
cumulative process. 

So if we can acquire the following qualities, Happiness 
and a better Way of Life will ensue. Furthermore, these 
qualities are inherent in our lessons and you will, no doubt, be 
able to identify the specific Masonic lesson that applies to 
each quality: 



• Love: We speak of it constantly in Masonry. In its most 
ample sense, it is the love for someone else. Love is the polar 
opposite of fear and the first step to happiness. 

• Optimism: Provides the power over painful events. It gives 
us power over the fear of the future and over regret for the 

• Courage: Allows us to overcome fear and in fact allows us 
to thrive. 

• Sense of Freedom: The freedom of choice makes us human, 
but it requires courage. 

• Proclivity: Happy people participate in their own destinies. 
They do not wait for events or other people to make them 

• Security: Nothing lasts forever. Not money, not approval, 
not even life and happy people know that security comes 
from within. The lessons of the Mosaic Pavement and the 
Emblems of Mortality fit rather nicely here. 

• Health: Happiness and Health are inter-dependent. Without 
health it's very difficult to be happy and it is even harder to 
be healthy if you're not happy. 

• Spirituality: Happy people are less concerned about their 
inevitable end and more concerned about living. 

• Altruism: Happy people know how good it feels to give. In 
addition to making you feel good, it connects you to other 
people, it gives you purpose, it expands the mini-me within. 

• Perspective: Happy people know how to prioritize issues 
and never lose sight of life's big picture during tough times. 

• Purpose: Happy people know why they are here, what they 
are meant to do and are satisfied with their lot in life. 

• Humour: Humour is the shift in perception that gives people 
the strength to go on when life looks its very worst. 

Masonry also provides other important qualities that go 
hand in hand. Self esteem, peace of mind, fulfilment and 
confidence. This quality list isn't really that long and perhaps 
you will agree that time, patience and dedicated effort, by 
both member and candidate are essential, if we are to take the 
first step on the journey to happiness. Individually and 
collectively, we must accept the responsibility and provide 
time for training each candidate and officer. 

M.W.Bro. Eric Nancekivell, as chairman of the 1977 
Grand Masters Conference in Washington, had this to say 
about training: The past is secure . . . but what of the future? 



Joseph Fort Newton, the great Masonic scholar, wrote 50 
years ago "to go on making men Masons . . . without giving 
them an intelligent and authentic knowledge of what Masonry 
is ... is for Masonry to lose, by ignorance or neglect, what 
has been distinctive in its history and genesis and invite 
degeneration, if not disaster. It is therefore important that in 
our lodges and in Grand Lodge we stress proper, efficient and 
knowledgeable Masonic Education so that our time is 
devoted, to a greater extent, to teaching the great moral 
precepts of Masonry and not just to the usual and sometimes 
only activity of Initiating, Passing and Raising. Entire 
meetings could and should he devoted to Masonic teachings. " 

Where are we today? Are we taking the time to make 
Masons or are we simply Initiating, Passing and Raising and 
then pushing them into the Chairs they are not prepared for, 
or pulling them into Scottish Rite, Chapter or the Shrine, on 
the basis they need more light? 

Let's review some interesting data. 

• Population: Year after year our membership continues to 
shrink: 1946 - 99,500; 1961 - 130,000; 1979 - 110,000; 
2005 - 52,000!! In this regard we are consistent with every 
service and charitable organization in the world. 

• Facilities: The buildings in use today were designed, built 
and maintained by an expanding membership three times 
larger than our current shrinking population. The majority, 
were built prior to 1960 and many are now approaching 
closure, suffering from financial and/or structural fatigue. 

• Candidates: The good news is we continue to attract 1 , 1 00 
to 1,300 new members annually. The bad news is contained 
in data summarized from our Annual Proceedings. It begs our 


























Is it any wonder that our boomers are turning into 
doomersl Masonry is dead some claim, or at the very least 
being sucked into the tar pits with the dinosaurs. 

I ask how can anyone really believe a 400-year-old 
fi^atemity that has survived scandals, hoaxes, legislation, 
dictators and dormant periods, could be on its way out? It 



may be musty, dusty and in need of a bath perhaps, but it is 
definitely very much alive. It seems to me, a matter of 
perspective, planning, participation and patience. 

Do we need to change? Will change bring back the 
mystery, the privilege, the attendance? 

M.W.Bro. E. Robert Davies, P.G.M. and Grand Secretary 
Emeritus, in 1977 spoke of our need to move with the times. 
/ observe a significant number of young men coming into our 
order. Let us be mindful of their needs and listen as they 
speak, for they are the vehicle for growth in the future. 
Change for the sake of change is not what I advocate. 
However, change when necessary to meet man's ever- 
changing viewpoint is essential to ensure our future. 

Brethren, I suggest that losing 28% of new members 
before Passing and 38% overall is not only very significant 
but totally unacceptable. These numbers which are increasing 
each and every year must prompt us to action. 

Is the Traditional Lodge or the European Lodge Model 
the answer? There are lodges in Australia, the U.S.A. and 
Winnipeg, that are giving it a try and it appears to be working 
in Europe. 

While there may be a few style differences between the 
two - that could be the subject for another day. The 
importance for this evening is the similarities in their 
respective agendas. 

• Small Lodges: 40-60 members. Attendance is often 
mandatory to remain a member. 

• Membership: Joining is difficult. Candidates are carefully 
screened as to suitability. In some European jurisdictions it is 
reported that on occasion 40 - 50% of applications have been 
turned down. Yet there is no shortage of new applications. 

• Meetings: Meetings are limited. Templum Sion in Winnipeg 
meets six times per year. 

• Ritual: Excellence is expected. 

• Education: Education of both Candidate and Officer is 
serious business. All candidates must pass examinations and 
present a paper in each degree to an Education Committee. 
Templum Sion officers serve for two years in each chair. 

• Degrees: In most cases 12 months must elapse between 
each degree. 

• Lodges: In lodge, activity is restricted to degree work and 
education. Business, finances and reports are dealt with 



effectively outside of the lodge. Lodges are closed early to 
allow for socializing and education. M.W.Bro. C. Edwin 
Drew once said: In Lodge we do ritual, outside of the Lodge 
we make Masons. 

• Cost: I have always worked on the premise only two 
subjects were taboo within the Lodge - Politics and Religion. 
May it ever remain so. 

However, in many lodges today there appears to be a third 
- Which is to suggest that we may need to increase Initiation 
fees and Annual dues? 

The traditional model accepts that higher initiation fees 
and dues are necessary. For example in Templum Sion, 
Winnipeg, Initiation is $650.00 and Dues are currently 
$230.00 or $260.00. No shortage of applications. 

Yet the cry goes out in Ontario that to increase Initiation 
fees will cause applications to drop off. Increase dues and 
members will quit. 

Hello. In 2005, 38% of our new members didn't take their 
Third Degree. Do we dare mention also that 60% of our 
membership never, ever attend lodge. 
Perhaps it's not about Cost - Perhaps it's about Value. It may 
also be about Mystery, about Privilege, about taking care of 
our own. 

Perhaps it's about time to blow a little dust off our 
meetings and proceedings and slow the whole process down. 
Young men, I firmly believe, want to be associated with 
something ancient, something mystical and secret and which 
has an admirable heritage. 

Perhaps it 's about time to be more selective in accepting 

Perhaps it 's about time to accept only excellence in our 
ritual and incorporate the best audio-visual technologies for 
our presentations. Masons have always used the best 
technology available to teach the lessons of each degree. 
Chalk on the floor gave way to floor cloths, tracing boards, 
electricity and special lamps. We are in the 21st century. 
Have we kept pace with technology or have we passed 
because there is no money available? 

Perhaps it 's about time to be out of Lodge by 9:30-10:00 
at the latest and available for coffee or other libations and 
discussion after lodge - Where Masons are made. 

Perhaps it 's about time to be more concerned about our 



aging meeting and dining facilities and to develop plans for 
the future. Small can be good. We may have too many old 
buildings with too few lodges attending? 

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a few strategically 
located Masonic Centres, used by a greater number of smaller 

Perhaps it's about time we trained and educated our 
members and officers at a much slower pace. Instead of 28 
days for advancement perhaps we should advocate six to 12 
months between degrees. Further, no member should be 
elected to the Deacon's Chair without proof of his 
knowledge, ability and commitment. 

Perhaps it's about time we charged fees according to 
yesterday's standards. Let's remember we are one of the 
greatest fund-raising organizations in the world. Maybe we 
need to prioritize our requirements. 

Perhaps it's about time we allowed new candidates to 
become knowledgeable and dedicated Craft Masons . . . 
before they advance anywhere. 

Perhaps, just perhaps, there is room in Ontario for a 
Traditional Observance or European-style lodge or at the very 
least the elements that make them work. 

Brethren, I thank you for your attention and leave you 
with this quote from Aristotle: 

Happiness is the whole aim and end of human existence. 



By W.Bro. Daniel Glenney 

Canadian War Museum Special Exhibits Curator 

Brougham Union Masonic Temple, Claremont, Ontario 

Saturday, March 31, 2007 

Introduction: The material in this presentation was 
uncovered as part of my research while I was Director of 
Collections at the Canadian War Museum. 

Background: Men of all walks of life have been Masons; 
however, a vast number of Masons have, in their public 
avocations, been soldiers. In fact military Freemasons played 
an influential role in establishing Freemasonry in Canada in 
the first place. During the 1 8th and early 1 9th centuries, many 
British Regiments came to North America with traveling 
Masonic charters that allowed them to hold formal Masonic 
gatherings anywhere the Regiment served. 

On closer examination, it is not surprising that Free- 
masonry would be such an important part in the lives of so 
many Canadian soldiers. A Masonic Lodge and a military 
regiment are organizations with a clear mandate of service, 
and respect for the society from which they are raised. They 
are both managed in a clearly structured chain of command, 
founded on the principle that one must learn to take orders 
before one can give orders. 

Another aspect to consider is that a military regiment was 
and is a close-knit group of individuals that support each 
other on a personal level. The opportunity to sit in Lodge 
together would be yet another way in which the various 



members of the regiment could reinforce their bonds within 
the wider regimental family. The terms comrade in arms and 
Masonic brother are synonymous in intent and attitude. 

Freemasonry and the Great War 1914 - 1918: WW 1, the 
war to end all wars, was declared on August 4, 1914 and did 
not end until November W^, 1918. Canada was at that time 
a nation of 8,000,000 people, and raised an armed force of 
some 650,000 men and women. 65,000 Canadians of all ranks 
were killed during this conflict. 

Masonic Grand Jurisdictions across Canada actively 
supported the war effort. 

Thousands of individual Masons from all walks of life 
volunteered for active service. These Masonic Canadian 
soldiers fighting overseas regarded their Lodges as symbols 
of what they were fighting to preserve back home, and were 
confident that the Lodge would help provide relief for their 
families if they were killed or wounded. Many of them paid 
the supreme sacrifice. 

Here are the personal stories of a few of these veterans of 
the Great War. 

General Sir Arthur Currie: Arthur Currie was bom in 
1875 near Strathroy, Ontario, and moved to Victoria BC as a 
young man. He was initiated in Vancouver and Quadra Lodge 
No. 2 in 1898, quickly advanced through the chairs and was 
installed as the Lodge's Worshipful Master by 1905. 
Advancing further in Masonry, he became D.D.G.M. two 
years later. 

At roughly the same time, he was also actively involved 
in the local Militia. He started out as a Gunner or Private in 
the BC Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery, and by May 
1906 was second in command of the 5th Regiment. 

It can be accurately stated that Currie was talented leader 
with excellent organizational skills who could manage his 
time productively with a good sense of what the military 
called man management. 

His Masonic and Militia experience in various 
progressively responsible leadership roles gave him a 
marvellous opportunity to further develop these natural skills 
as a leader working within an organized group of men. In 
both organizations he believed in working closely with his 
members to encourage their best personal performance. 

Once WW 1 was declared in August 1 9 1 4, he rapidly rose 



through the ranks to become General of the Canadian Army 
by the end of the War. He was heavily involved in one of the 
greatest Canadian victories ever, the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 
fought on Easter Sunday 1917. Vimy Ridge was a strategic 
German stronghold that had been unsuccessfully attacked 
time after time by the French and British forces. Ihe task was 
then given to the Canadian Corps, who was determined that 
the Canadian Army would succeed. 

Always open to new ideas, Currie ordered the battle to 
begin with a recent Allied battlefield innovation. This tactic 
was the use of artillery in a "creeping barrage" that slowly 
moved up the Ridge, followed closely by the Canadian 
infantry who secured the German positions one by one. At the 
end of the day, the Canadian Army was in possession of 
Vimy Ridge, and Canada was front page in every newspaper 
around the world. 

Currie commanded the entire 1st Canadian Corps in 
France from June 1917, through the last 100 Days of the War, 
and up until the Armistice November 11,1918. 

While on leave, one of the more interesting destinations 
for General Currie and in fact all Canadian Masonic 
servicemen serving overseas was the many Masonic Lodges 
operating in England. Canadians would attend these Lodges 
in company with Masons from all across the British Empire 
and Europe, representing a wealth of experiences and 

These fraternal visits were a significant example of how 
Freemasonry reinforced morale within the Canadian Army in 
particular and among the Allies in general. The Masons who 
visited were drawn from all military ranks, and from various 
Masonic ranks. The ability of a soldier of lower rank to sit in 
Lodge along side with senior officers was a powerful 
statement that the officers respected the lower ranks. This 
would go a long ways towards making the individual soldiers 
realize that they were part of something that was bigger than 
anything they may have previously imagined. 

One Lodge in particular, Canada Lodge, was a very 
popular Masonic home away from home. Canadians living 
and working in England set up this Masonic Lodge in London 
before the War. The minute book for the Lodge on one 
occasion during the War records that some 1 00 Masons of all 
Masonic and military ranks arrived unexpectedly to attend 
Lodge. The Tyler quickly improvised Masonic regalia from. 



tissue paper so the Canadians could be received in proper 
Masonic fashion. 

In April 1918. General Currie himself visited Canada 
Lodge. He was accompanied by his Canadian Generals and 
Masonic brethren Major General Turner (VC Boer War) and 
Major General Watson. 

The CWM National Collection as you would imagine 
maintains Currie' s military uniform and effects; his sword is 
on exhibit in the WWl gallery. The National Collection also 
includes his Canadian Masonic regalia. In addition to his 
D.D.G.M. and other formal regalia, the Collection includes a 
most significant artifact. This artifact is a Master Mason's 
apron, but instead of the traditional blue trim, it is adorned 
with khaki trim. The apron is the only known example of its 
kind, and is believed to be a special wartime Masonic apron. 

Major General Malcolm Mercer: General Mercer was a 
Canadian Mason on General Currie' s staff. He was not 
present at the Masonic visit to Canada Lodge arranged by 
Currie for himself and his Generals in April 1918. However, 
all Masonic brethren present during the traditional toast to 
"absent brethren" would have remembered him. 

Malcolm S Mercer was bom in 1 866 on the family farm 
in Etobicoke Township in what is now northwest Toronto. 
He attended law school at Osgoode Hall, and joined the 
Canadian militia regiment, the Queen's Own Rifles of 
Canada, becoming the Lieutenant Colonel in 191 1 . He was a 
member of Victoria Masonic Lodge and River Park Masonic 
Lodge in the Toronto area. In 1906, he was installed as 
Worshipful Master of River Park Lodge. 

When WW 1 was declared on August 4,1914, Mercer was 
eager to take part. He was instrumental in organizing his 
Regiment for the 1st Canadian Expeditionary Force that 
sailed for England in October. As the War progressed, Mercer 
was promoted to more senior levels of command and 
eventually achieved the rank of Major General. 

Mercer was a senior officer who was greatly concerned 
about the welfare of his soldiers. He regularly visited the 
Canadian trenches and would normally go right up to the 
front lines to boost the morale of the men and observe the 
situation first hand. While this attention was much 
appreciated by the troops, the danger of such actions gave 
Currie great cause to worry about Mercer's personal safety. 

In June 2, 1 9 1 6, the Canadian Army on the Western Front 



was heavily involved in action against the Germans at Mount 
Sorrel. General Mercer was as usual right in the front lines. 
During a particularly ferocious German artillery bombard- 
ment, he was wounded in the leg by a rifle bullet and took 
temporary shelter in a ditch. Later that day he was killed by 
shrapnel from artillery fire. His body was buried under the 
mud by explosions fi*om further shelling and he was lost. 

The Canadians were determined that Mercer would be 
found. Detachments were sent to the front lines under cover 
of darkness on the night of June 22-23. The soldiers crawled 
up to the position where Mercer had last been seen alive. 
Their first clue was a leather officer's boot sticking out of the 
mud. There they found the body of their General very 
indecently interred. They attempted to raise the body, but the 
Germans spotted the activity, and opened fire on the 
Canadians with machine guns and artillery. 

In order to raise the body of the General, the soldiers were 
forced to lie face down in the mud and scratch away with 
their bayonets and shovels at the dirt covering him. 
Eventually they were able to raise him from this temporary 
grave and drag his body into the safety of a nearby shell hole. 
Worshipful Brother General Malcolm Mercer was buried in 
a nearby British Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, with 
full military honours. He was the highest-ranking Canadian 
soldier ever to be killed in action in WWl or in any other 
Canadian war. 

Roy Brown and Stearne Edwards: Soldiers serving 
overseas in WWl looked to their Lodges back home as a 
symbol of what they were fighting to preserve. Their Lodges 
were also part of the normal life they were hoping they could 
resume once the War had ended. 

A good example can be found in our own back yard in St. 
John's Lodge in Carleton Place, in the personal stories of two 
members of that Lodge who were close friends, Roy Brown 
and Stearne Edwards. 

The year 1915 was a milestone in the life of many young 
Canadian men. The Great War - WWl was well under way. 
Brown and Edwards had become fascinated with the new 
concept of war in the air. Given that WWl recruits for the 
Royal Air Force and Royal Naval Air Service required flying 
experience, their fathers were able to sponsor them at the 
flight school run by the Wright brothers in Dayton Ohio. 

While he was in Dayton, Brown thought about joining the 



Lodge. On October 20, 1915, Brown wrote the following in 
a letter to his father describing his upcoming schedule to 
finish flying school in the fall. That may leave me time to 
catch the November meeting of the Lodge, 

Edwards graduated before Brown, and returned home for 
a quick visit. Rejoined the Lodge in October of 1915, before 
going overseas. 

Brown eventually graduated as a pilot and also returned 
home for a brief visit. On November 22, 1915, he too was 
initiated into St. John's Lodge. Brown then left home for the 
War in Europe, and service in the Royal Naval Air Service 
and the Royal Flying Corps. In December 1917, Brown and 
Edwards were able to return home for a short period on leave 
and received their 2nd and 3rd Degrees in Masonry together. 

Brown became a deadly fighter pilot. He earned the 
designation of Ace when he shot down his 5th enemy aircraft 
in October 1917, and was awarded a Distinguished Flying 
Cross in November 1917. By February of 1918 he had 
become a Flight Leader, and had shot down nine German 

Steame Edwards also earned the designation of Ace 
during WWl, with a total of 16 enemy aircraft. During the 
War, the two friends served together as pilots in the same 
combat zones, and were able to take some personal time 
together on leave. 

By April 1918, the Germans decided to make a desperate 
attempt to destroy the Allied forces once and for all. One 
particular threat to the Allied pilots was the Flying Circus the 
fighter squadron led by a former German cavalry officer 
named Manfred von Richthofen. He was popularly known as 
the "Red Baron" due to the bright red colour of his Fokker 
fighter aeroplane. 

On the morning of April 2 1 , the Allied and German pilots 
were preparing to fly yet another war patrol. Richthofen' s 
cousin Wolfram had recently joined the Flying Circus. On the 
Canadian side, a new pilot Wop May had been sent to fly 
under Roy Brown's command. Given the danger in combat to 
inexperienced pilots. Brown gave strict orders to May that if 
they encountered German aircraft, May should stay out of 
combat and circle the action to simply watch and learn. 

Later that morning, the German flight engaged a pair of 
Australian aircraft and was then attacked by Brown's flight 
of Sopwith Camel aircraft. Wop May watched as ordered 



from the distance for a short while. However, he could not 
contain himself and soon attacked a German aircraft. He had 
in fact inadvertently attacked the German Fokker flown by 
Richthofen's cousin Wolfram. 

May's guns jammed and he was forced to disengage, but 
the Red Baron spotted May's attack and set out after the 
Canadian. May was certain that he was a dead man because 
he could not get the Red Baron off his tail, but the Red Baron 
was experiencing trouble with his own machine guns. 

Roy Brown, seeing that May was in great danger, was 
able to come up behind the Red Baron to fire a burst from his 
machine guns into the Red Baron's Fokker. The Red Baron 
was mortally wounded and crashed near the Australian 
trenches. (The Australians also claim to have shot him down.) 
Roy Brown was awarded a bar for his Distinguished Service 
Cross for shooting down the Red Baron. He left the Royal 
Flying Corps after WWl, and was involved in operating a 
small airline in Ontario and Quebec. When WW2 broke out 
he volunteered for service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, 
but was rejected. He died at the age of 50 in Stouffville 
Ontario in 1944. 

Steame Edwards was still flying as a combat pilot when 
WWl ended on November 11, 1918. On November 12, he 
took a Sopwith Pup fighter aircraft up for a flight, but 
accidentally crashed it. He died of his injuries November 22. 

The Canadian pilot Wop May, whose life was saved that 
day by Captain Roy Brown, became an Ace himself with 13 
kills to his credit. During the 1920s and 30s he continued to 
fly as a famous bush pilot in the Canadian North. 

Wop May became a Mason after WWl. In 1938, he 
helped organize a special Masonic meeting in the Canadian 
Arctic in Kugluktuk, Nunavut Territory, near the present-day 
community of Coppermine. That meeting is commemorated 
by a plaque declaring it to be the most northerly Masonic 
meeting ever held. 

The Victoria Cross: The Victoria Cross, the highest 
military decoration available to any soldier within the British 
Commonwealth, was awarded to 70 Canadians "For Valour" 
during the First World War. Of these 70 Canadian soldiers, a 
grand total of nine were Masons at the time, or became a 
Mason after the War. Two of these Masonic VC recipients 
have the unique distinction of being respectively the oldest 
and the youngest Canadians ever to win a Victoria Cross. 



Colonel Cy Peck Cy Peck was bom in 1871 in New 
Brunswick, but moved to British Columbia as a young man. 
He established several businesses in the north of the province 
and the Yukon, and was also active in the local Militia. He 
moved to Prince Rupert in 1908 when it was little more than 
a tent city and became one of its leading citizens. Peck joined 
Tsimpsean Masonic Lodge and eventually earned his 32nd 

He enlisted when the War broke out in 1914 and was 
promoted to become the Colonel of the 16th Battalion 
(Canadian Scottish.) It was at his initiative that the ancient 
tradition of piping the men into battle was re-established 
within the Canadian Army. 

Peck's outstanding moment occurred at Agincourt, 
France, on September 2, 1918. His command was held up by 
German machine gun fire, so he calmly made a personal 
reconnaissance under direct German fire. He the directed his 
men and several tanks from a position in the middle of No 
Man 's Land until the German positions were overrun and 
secured by the Canadians. His men marvelled that he had not 
been hit even once, so close and exposed was he to the 
German machine gun fire on the front lines. For this action he 
was awarded the Victoria Cross; at the age of 47 he was its 
oldest Canadian recipient in any war. 

By the end of the War, Peck had led his men in 10 major 
battles including Vimy Ridge, had been wounded twice, had 
won the VC, the DSO and was Mentioned in Dispatches five 
times. One of his soldiers recalled that he feared nothing that 
walked or talked. 

In addition to his distinction of the VC and other medals. 
Peck's popularity is further shown in federal politics. He was 
elected a Member of Parliament when he was still overseas in 
the trenches in 1917, representing the B.C. riding of Skeena. 

He died in 1956 and his family subsequently donated his 
VC medals group to the CWM National Collection. 

Sergeant Tommy Ricketts was bom in Newfoundland and 
was only 15 years of age when he joined the Royal 
Newfoundland Regiment. He was sent overseas with the 
Regiment, and was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai, 
launched in November 1917. By October 1918, he was back 
in action, heavily involved in a campaign that became known 
as The 100 Days. 

October 14, 1918, Ricketts took part in an infantry attack 



against a Gemian artillery position. The Newfoundland 
platoon was suffering heavy casualties from the fire of the 
German battery at point blank range. Ricketts volunteered to 
assist his section commander to outflank the Germans using 
a Lewis light machine gun. Advancing to within 300 yards of 
the enemy, the Lewis gun team ran out of ammunition. At 
that point, Ricketts realized that the Germans were bringing 
in their teams of horses to withdraw their artillery under 
cover of their machine guns. Ricketts ran back 100 yards 
under this intense German machine gun fire and brought back 
enough Lewis gun ammunition to resume the attack. Firing 
the Lewis gun as they advanced, the platoon was able to 
overwhelm the Germans and capture five field guns, four 
machine guns, and eight German soldiers. The official 
citation recommending him for the VC reads. 

By his presence of mind in anticipating the enemy 
intention and his utter disregard of personal safety, Pte. 
Ricketts secured the further supply of ammunition which 
directly resulted in these important captures and undoubtedly 
saved many lives. 

He was formally presented to King George during the 
ceremony of his VC investiture at Sandringham, the King's 
country estate in Norfolk. During the ceremony, the King is 
reported to have introduced him as "the youngest VC in my 

Ricketts was of course too young to join the Masonic 
Lodge even by the end of the War. After demobilization, he 
returned to St. John's, Newfoundland, and became a 
pharmacist. When he had established himself within the 
community, he joined Tasker Lodge in St. John's, at that time 
a Lodge still under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of 
Scotland. He died in 1967. 

The Ricketts family formally presented the VC medals 
group of Sergeant Ricketts to the CWM in an emotional 
ceremony on October 22, 2003. Mrs. Ricketts, the widow of 
Sergeant Ricketts, proudly wore her Masonic widow's pin for 
the occasion. The family still has his Masonic apron as an 
heirloom. Mrs. Ricketts lives in St. John's and is one of the 
last surviving soldier's wives of the First World War. 

The Ricketts VC medals group is now on exhibit in the 
Museum's WWl permanent gallery. I make it a point to 
include the display of his medals group whenever I give a 
guided tour of the CWM. Visitors are usually unaware of the 



extreme youth of many of Canada's soldiers during WWl. 
High school students in the 15- to 17-year range are 
particularly amazed to learn that young people of an earlier 
generation, exactly their own age, were involved in such 
appalling front line combat conditions. 

Loge Le Havre: As the War progressed, more and more 
Allied soldiers and diplomats recognized each other as 
Masons. It was not always easy to obtain leave to attend 
Canada Lodge or other Lodges in England; therefore a 
Masonic group worked to establish a special wartime Lodge 
in France. In February 1916, it was proposed that this Lodge 
be established in Le Havre, France, and it became known as 
Le Havre de Grace No. 4, under the Grande Loge Nationale 
Independante et Regulier pour la France et les Colonies 
Frangaises. A total of 70 Masons were listed as founders, 
representing Mother Lodges in England, Scotland, Ireland, 
Canada, Australia, India, Malta, Gibraltar, South Africa, and 
the United States. 

The ceremony of consecration was held on October 3 1 , 
1916. The following words were part of the official oration 
by the Chaplain: 

Surrounded as we are with an atmosphere charged with 
so much disruption, disunion, and discord, with lowering 
clouds of hate and strife, through which at present there 
appears to be but a faint light penetrating - a light which we 
hope is indicative of the future blaze of joy and happiness - 
we launch this ship of Peace and Harmony. 

Loge le Havre worked throughout the War to offer a place 
of fellowship to its members and visitors. It closed after the 
War, when its members returned home. However, Carleton 
Lodge in Carp eventually acquired its furniture, so the 
tradition of Loge le Havre de Grace survives today. 

In Distressed Circumstances: Most Canadian] urisdictions 
issued a Masonic pass to their members when they enlisted 
for military service. The pass was written in English, French 
and German. It identified the bearer as a Mason, and 
requested fraternal assistance in times of distressed 
circumstances. The pass also declared that his Mother Lodge 
would repay any financial burdens that this fraternal 
assistance might require. 

Prisoners of War are a major factor in any war, and the 
First World War was no exception. Major Hooper of Carleton 
Place was knocked unconscious during a savage battle and 



fell into the hands of the Germans. The German surgeon, 
coming across the Masonic pass, gave him preferential 
medical attention that probably saved his life. 

Canadian soldier and Masonic Brother Robert J. Meekren 
was wounded in the Ypres Salient in 1916 and feel into the 
hands of the Germans. While in the prison camp, a German 
guard revealed himself to Meekren as a Mason, and at great 
risk to himself, the guard gave Meekren a parcel of bread and 
cigarettes. Meekren then tried to contact other Masonic 
prisoners by embroidering a square and compass on his 
military tunic. An Allied prisoner approached him and asked. 
Have you ever been entirely destitute? It took Meekren a 
moment to realize the Masonic significance of this question, 
and to realize that this soldier was also a Mason. Meekren 
was then introduced to several other English and French 
speaking POW's, and they were able to hold impromptu 
Masonic meetings by immemorial right. One memorable 
occasion was a Masonic feast with about 20 Masons 
contributing treats they had secured to commemorate St. 
John's Day 1917. 

Meekren also benefited from his Mother Lodge. The 
Secretary of his Lodge wrote him on a regular basis to keep 
him up to date with affairs back home. Naturally, the 
Germans censored all letters coming to prisoners. Meekren 
was therefore alarmed one morning when the German camp 
censor asked to see him in his office. The German censor, by 
reviewing the letters, realized that Meekren was a Mason, and 
revealed himself to be a Mason. Meekren was thereafter 
allowed to receive extra letters from home and was given a 
comfortable clerical job in the camp office. 

After the War, in 1927, the German General Ludendorff 
published a book The Annihilation of Freemasonry Through 
the Disclosure of its Secrets. In the book he stated 
Freemasonry is a Jewish contrivance and that special 
treatment given by German Masonic guards to Allied 
Masonic prisoners during the War was national treason. The 
extreme opinions expressed in Ludendorff s book fore- 
shadowed the official policies of the Adolph Hitler and the 
Nazi party. Once they had gained power, the Nazis actively 
persecuted the Jews and the Freemasons, first in Germany 
and later in the occupied countries. 

The Last Masonic WWl Veteran: To many people, the 
First World War seems to be far a distant event, but for one 



man. it is still very much in living memory. Percy Dwight 
Wilson was born in Vienna, Ontario, in 1901 and enlisted in 
the Canadian Army at the age of 1 5 as an artillery trumpeter. 
He was sent to England, where his status as an underage 
soldier was eventually discovered, whereupon he was 
returned to Canada. He re-enlisted in 1918, but was once 
again discharged as being underage. Not to be deterred, he 
also served in the Second World War. 

Brother Wilson joined Rehoboam Lodge in Oshawa after 
the War, and on March 5, 2006 was presented with his 80- 
year Masonic pin. 

Conclusion: Freemasonry can thus be seen as an 
important part in the life of many Canadian soldiers during 
and after WW 1 . It was a symbol of what they were fighting 
to preserve, and raised the morale of the Canadian soldiers 
overseas. It also gave them a focus for the normal life that 
they hoped to resume once the War had ended. 


An Exploration of the Relationship 
Between The United Empire Loyalists 

and Freemasonry 
in Upper Canada, now Ontario 

R.W. Bro. Robert Collins McBrlde UE, B.Sc, M.Ed. 
P.M., Keene Lodge No. 374 G.R.C. 

Peterborough Masonic Temple 
415 Rubidge street, Peterborough 

Saturday, May 19, 2007 

Do you know where your ancestors were on May 19, 1780, 
exactly 227 years ago today? 

If they lived anywhere in the New England colonies, the 
answer to this question is: They were in the dark ! 

May 19th stands out in meteorological history as a day that 
plunged the eastern seaboard into a darkness that lasted for up 
to fifteen hours in some locations. Many thought that it was the 
Day of Judgement, the end of the world. 

Up until eight o'clock on that Friday morning, all was sunny 
and clear. Although there were no clouds, the air became thick 
and had a smoky appearance. The sun's colour changed from a 
pale yellow to a coppery tone. The brassy light that fell on plants 
and commonplace objects imbued everything with an unnatural 
eeriness. Within hours, the sun was no longer visible. By noon 
it was so dark that a person standing outdoors could not read the 
words in a book. 

The Dark Day confused both domestic and wild animals. 
Chickens returned to their hen houses while birds went to their 
nests. Frogs began their nocturnal peeping and bats flew after 
their prey as cattle came in from the fields. 



Worried mothers lit candles and fires to fend off the 
gathering darkness. Some reported a smell in the air like that of 
a coal kiln. Others said something that looked like ashes had 
coated the puddles. 

Shopkeepers left their stores, schools were dismissed and 
travellers sought shelter at the nearest farmhouse. Many New 
Englanders flocked to their churches to seek comfort and 
protection. The Connecticut legislature darkened to such a 
degree that many felt they should adjourn. 

When the unseen sun set on May 1 9th, the rising moon was 
visible for only a brief moment, but in that instant it had the 
appearance of blood. No stars shone until midnight. 

One witness of the Dark Day said. Various have been the 
sentiments oj people concerning the designs oj Providence in 
spreading the unusual darkness over us. Some suppose it 
portentous of the last scene. I wish it may have some good effect 
on the minds of the wicked, and that they may be excited to 
prepare for that solemn day. 

The Dark Day of May 19, 1780, was not an eclipse and it 
was not merely a very overcast sky. The best explanation seems 
to be that the smoke from a massive forest fire in the west, 
combined with moist air along the coast, created an 
impenetrable blanket of soot. 

Whatever caused the Dark Day, one can't help but note that 
it occurred almost three years after the Declaration of 
Independence was made in 1776. Did His Majesty's Loyal 
Colonists regard May 1 9th as the omen of judgement upon those 
who rebelled against King George III? The answer to that 
question is shrouded in as much mystery as the Dark Day itself. 

Generals Wolfe, Montcalm and George Washington, 
Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, John Graves Simcoe, William 
Jarvis, John Butler, Joseph Brant and James FitzGibbon - what 
did these famous pioneers fi*om widely different backgrounds 
have in common? They were all leaders of their era and were all 
Freemasons, the largest and oldest worldwide fraternity that 
emphasizes personal study and self-improvement as well as 
social betterment. 

The American Revolution was the first American civil war. 
Everywhere, notably in New York, New Jersey and the 
Carol inas, neighbour was turned against neighbour, father 
against son, and brother against brother - except within the 
ranks of the Craft. 



After the British occupation of New York City, the Tory 
[Loyalist] members of St. John 's Lodge, No. 2, combined to meet 
with brother Masons in the British army at the Green Bay Tree 
Inn. One evening, while the Lodge was in session, the ceiling 
gave way and Brother Joseph Burnham, a rebel [Patriot] 
member of the Lodge, crashed down in the midst of the 
astonished assembly of members and visiting British officers. 
Brother Hopkins, the Tyler and proprietor of the inn, explained 
that he had been concealing Brother Burnham in the attic until 
the opportunity arose to send him across to the New Jersey 
shore. The brethren proceeded to take up a collection and 
presented Brother Burnham with a generous contribution 
towards his new life outside the [New York] colony. Never a 
word was said outside the Lodge and Brother Burnham escaped 
shortly afterwards. The war raged for eight years, during which 
the fortunes of both sides advanced and wavered. The ferocity 
of the conflict, particularly among native colonials, was 
unparalleled. Among themselves, at least, Masons were an 

What is Freemasonry? The website for the Grand Lodge of 
Canada in the Province of Ontario states: Freemasonry is the 
oldest and largest world wide fraternity dedicated to the 
Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. 
Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It 
urges its members, however, to be faithful and devoted to their 
own religious beliefs. 

No one knows the exact origins of Freemasonry. A widely 
accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the 
stonemasons' guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and 
symbols used in the fraternity's rituals come from this era. The 
oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius 
Poem, printed about 1390, that was a copy of an earlier work. In 
1717 four Lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of 
England and records from that point on are more complete. 
Within 30 years, the fraternity had spread throughout Europe 
and the American Colonies. Freemasonry became very popular 
in colonial America. 

// has been assumed that, at first, the brethren in British 
North America banded together into lodges, not by any warrant 
of constitution from Grand Lodge, but simply by immemorial 

Wallace McLeod, author of Whence Come We? 
Freemasonry in Ontario, 1 764- 1 980, writes: The first undoubted 



accepted Mason on this side of the Atlantic was John Skene 
(who died in 1690). In 1670 he is listed as Merchant and Mason, 
on the membership roll of the Lodge of Aberdeen. He came to 
America in 1682, settling in Burlington, New Jersey, and served 
as Deputy Governor of East Jersey from 1685 to 1690. There 
were undoubtedly dozens of other Masons who lived in colonial 
America whose names are lost in the mists of time. On July 30, 
1 733, a small group of men met at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern 
on King Street in Boston and formed the first Masonic Lodge in 
America, later known as St. John's Grand Lodge. By r752, there 
were five Lodges in Boston and 14 in the New World. 

Organized Freemasonry slowly diffused outwards from 
Boston under the auspices of the Provincial Grand Masters in 
the Thirteen Colonies. By 1749, there were 10 warranted 
Lodges, 50 by 1762 and 100 by 1772. By the time of the 
outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776, there were about 
5,000 Masons in the Thirteen Colonies. 

When the Colony of New France became British, by the 
Treaty of Paris on February 1 1 763, the area now known as 
Ontario was sparsely settled with a few French traders, three 
more or less ruined forts at the sites of Kingston, Toronto and on 
the American side of the Niagara River, and a small settlement 
along the Detroit River. 

As Wallace McLeod, in Whence Come We, states, the story 
of the earliest pioneer Lodges is hard to trace because the 
records are fragmentary, with scattered mentions in the archives 
of the Grand Lodge of England or casual notices in the pioneer 
newspapers of Upper Canada. J. Ross Robertson, in Volume I of 
The History of Freemasonry in Canada From Its Introduction in 
1749, writes: The tracings are feeble and, perhaps, with one 
exception, we have only the names of the lodges with some of 
the incidents in their career -just a few threads to weave into the 
fabric of history. The early work of Masonry in Canada, as we 
know, was under the auspices of the Provincial Grand Lodge of 
Quebec, although west of the Ottawa [River] that body was only 

directly concerned in the work of a few lodges Of the lodges 

warranted in the west of the Ottawa River between 1 759-92, we 
find nine of a permanent character and one a military or field 

The first Masonic Lodges in the Province of Quebec west of 
the Ottawa River were located at Detroit in the 1770s with 
several military Lodges on travelling warrants. Travelling 
warrants originated with the British Army and were issued by 



one of the Grand Lodges in England, Ireland or Scotland. In 
1 772 a detachment of 1 0th Regiment of Foot (The Lincoln-shire 
Regiment) was stationed in Detroit, including members of the 
two regimental Lodges, No. 299, LC. and No. 378, LC. as well 
as several civilian Lodges. 

This is the only region of Upper Canada in which we have 
clear evidence of Masonic activity before the American 
Revolution. The next lodges are all associated with the war and 
with the influx of Loyalist settlers following its conclusion. 

Who were the United Empire Loyalists? 

They consisted of those colonists of the Thirteen Colonies 
who remained faithful to King George HI during the American 
Revolution. The conflict was rooted in Britain's attempt to assert 
her economic control over the American colonies and recoup the 
costs of waging an expensive but successful war against the 
French during the Seven Years' War. 

In the main, the United Empire Loyalists were those who 
had been settled in the thirteen colonies at the outbreak of the 
American Revolution, who remained loyal to and took up the 
Royal Standard, and who settled in what is now Canada at the 
end of the war. 

The Loyalists came from every class and walk of life. Some 
depended on the Crown for their livelihood and status and had 
considerable wealth and property. Many others were poor 
farmers and craftsmen. There were clerks and clergymen, 
lawyers and labourers. Native Americans, college graduates and 
those who could not write their own names. 

Ethnically large groups of them were Dutch, French 
Huguenots and German Palatines with many originating from 
the British Isles where they had first taken refuge from their 
native countries in the 1600's before immigrating to the British 
Colonies where they were guaranteed the basic freedoms and 
stability of British law. 

Patriot authorities punished the Loyalists who spoke their 
views too loudly by stripping them of their property and goods, 
banishing them on pain of death should they ever return to the 
Thirteen Colonies following the Revolution. They represented 
about a third of the population, with another third siding with the 
Patriots, or Rebels as they are called in Canada, and the rest 
remaining neutral. 

For some, exile began as early as 1775 when the Patriots 
(Rebels) created Committees of Safety throughout the Thirteen 



Colonies and began to harass British sympathizers that they 
termed as Tories. Many Loyalists formed various regiments that 
included The King's Royal Regiment of New York, The New 
Jersey Volunteers, The Pennsylvania and Maryland Loyalists, 
Butler's Rangers, (Roger's) Kings Rangers and (Jessup's) Loyal 
Rangers to name only a few of the Loyalist regiments that 
campaigned actively during the war. 

The signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, recognizing the 
independence of the United States, was the final blow for the 
Loyalists. Faced with further mistreatment and the hostility of 
their countrymen, and wishing to continue to live as British 
subjects, those who wanted to continue to raise their families in 
North America had only two British colonies to choose from: 
Nova Scotia and Quebec. With the large influx of Loyalists into 
these two remaining British colonies. Nova Scotia was divided 
into two, forming Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, while 
Quebec was divided into Upper Canada (now Ontario) and 
Lower Canada (now Quebec). 

However, forced to leave most of their possessions behind, 
they faced unpromising beginnings in their new land that was 
isolated, forbidding and wild. 

Those who were Freemasons in their original villages in the 
Thirteen Colonies brought the Craft with them to their new 
surroundings. For example in the Province of New York, Union 
Lodge No. 1 , in Albany, received a warrant in 1 759, the first W. 
Master being Richard Cartwright (1720 - 1795), an innkeeper 
and Deputy Postmaster of Albany who later came to Canada as 
a Loyalist, settled in Cataraqui (now Kingston) by 1785, and 
became a charter member of the Ancient St. John's Lodge A.F. 
& A.M., No. 3, G.R.C., of Kingston, that received its warrant on 
November 20 , 1795. Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime 
Minister of Canada, was a member of St. John's Lodge No. 3. 

On April 19, 1766, Sir William Johnson was raised [to the 
sublime degree of] a Master Mason in Union Lodge, No. 1, 
Albany. Significantly, John Butler was made a Mason there the 
same day. William Johnson had been knighted after the British 
victory in the Seven Years' War, 1756-1763. The owner of 
extensive estates in the Mohawk Valley, Sir William Johnson 
was also the Superintendent of Indian Affairs and a member of 
the Governor's Council, being influential in all policy matters of 
New York . . . 

Sir William Johnson applied for and received a charter from 
the Provincial Grand Lodge of New York for St. Patrick's Lodge 



No. 8, held in Johnson Hall, Johnston, County of Albany, 
Province of New York, May 23, 1766. 

Their first W.M. was Sir William Johnson (1715-1 774) and 
their first Senior Warden was his nephew, Guy Johnson (1740- 
1 788). Their first Junior Warden was Daniel Claus ( 1 727- 1 787), 
Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and their Lodge 
Secretary was John Butler (1725-1796), all of whom became 

Sir John Johnson ( 1 742- 1 830), son of William Johnson, was 
knighted by King George III in 1765 at the age of 23 and two 
years later was made a Mason in the Royal Lodge, London 
England, where he was also Passed and Raised. He returned to 
North America as the Provincial Grand Master of New York in 

During the Revolution, Sir John Johnson raised and 
commanded the King's Royal Regiment of New York, or King's 
Royal Yorkers, largest Loyalist Regiment to settle in what is 
now Ontario, specifically at places such as Cornwall, Brockville, 
Kingston and Napanee. Today the King's Royal Yorkers' 
traditions are kept alive by the country's largest re-enactment 
group. As a Loyalist, Sir John Johnson spent the last half of his 
life in Canada. In fact, he was named Provincial Grand Master 
of Quebec in 1788. Several years after his departure in 1 775 the 
Provincial Grand Lodge of New York (Modems) collapsed. He 
was awaiting new regalia; it arrived in time for use at his 

During the Revolution, John Butler formed Butler's 
Rangers, headquartered at Fort Niagara at the mouth of the 
Niagara River as it flows into Lake Ontario. Butler joined the 
Masonic Lodge in Albany in April 1766 and, when Sir William 
Johnson formed St. Patrick's Lodge in Johnstown in December 
of that year, he was appointed Secretary. He would continue as 
a Mason until his death at Niagara, 30 years later. His Masonic 
apron exists in Fonda, N.Y. 

During the French and Indian Wars, John Butler joined the 
Indian Department of Sir William Johnson. Following this war, 
John took up the management of his estate, some 26,600 acres, 
in the Province of New York, that he valued at over 13,000 
pounds. At the outbreak of the Revolution, he moved to 
Montreal with the Indian Department and was dispatched to 
Niagara in November 1775 to manage the department there 
where he was authorized to raise a Corps of Rangers to serve 
with the Indians on the frontier. This corps informally came to 



be known as Butler's Corps, or Butler's Rangers. It grew to 10 
companies and fought in most of the major engagements on the 
northern frontier. During the six years' existence of the Corps, 
over 900 men served in the Rangers. The last company of the 
Corps was disbanded at Niagara July 1784. 

Lieutenant-Colonel John Butler was Worshipful Master of 
a Masonic Lodge at Fort Niagara in 1780, W.M. of Lodge No. 
19, P.R.Q., Niagara, 1787 and Lodge No. 2, P.R.U.C. in 1795, 
becoming Grand Senior Warden of the first Provincial Grand 
Lodge of Upper Canada in 1795. 

On June 7, 1 779, the Governor of Quebec, Sir Frederick 
Haldimand, directed Lieutenant-Colonel Mason Bolton, 
Commandant at Niagara, to begin settlement on the west bank 
of the Niagara River. These settlers were chosen from the older 
members of Butler's Rangers who had previous farming 
experience. The first census of the Niagara settlement, prepared 
by John Butler and dated August 25, 1 782, lists 1 6 farmers, four 
of them labelled Rangers. Two of these Butler's Rangers, Adam 
Young UE and McGregory Van Every UE, were fourth great- 
grandfathers of Robert Collins McBride UE. 

Adam Young UE was a member of Lt.-Col. John Butler's 
Lodge at Fort Niagara in 1780, according to family tradition. 
Adam's son. Sergeant Daniel Young UE, was a founding 
member of Barton Lodge No. 10 in 1796 and their first 
Treasurer. Adam Young's grandson, Robert Collins McBride' s 
second great-grandfather, William Young, Justice of the Peace 
for Seneca Township, Haldimand County, Upper Canada, was 
a founding member of St. John's Lodge No. 35 that received its 
charter, as St. John's Lodge No. 12, May 15, 1845. Lodge 
meetings took place in the Free Masons Hall at William 
Fearman's inn, located in the Village of York on the banks of 
the Grand River. William Young was their first Senior Warden 
in June 1 845, becoming W.M. in December 1 845, and served as 
W.M. again from 1 848 to 1 850. 

When John Butler arrived at Fort Niagara, he found a Lodge 
there. Lodge No. 156 of the King's or 8th Regiment of Foot. 
The Lodge of the 8th or King's Own Regiment of Foot was 
issued its field warrant (No 255, E.R.) in 1755, this regiment 
garrisoned at Fort Niagara from 1773 to 1785. During that 
period, it was under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand 
Lodge of Quebec. Though the lodge worked under a travelling 
warrant, and might therefore be thought to have played little part 
in the lives of the settlers, it did in fact initiate a number of 



brethren belonging to the families which located in Niagara: 
Henry Nelles (certificate February 1 1, 1780), Joseph Clement 
(certificate September 23, 1780), Henry W. Nelles (certificate 
May 7, 1784) and Daniel Servos (certificate May 7, 1784). All 
four of these individuals were United Empire Loyalists. 

In 1779, St. John's Lodge of Friendship, a civilian Lodge, 
was formed at Fort Niagara. The new lodge was probably the 
result of brethren, mostly Loyalist refugees, seeking security in 
the shadow of the Fort, and meeting initially by immemorial 
right. Undoubtedly, the incipient lodge had the sanction of the 
Masters and Wardens of Lodge No. 156 in the King's or 8th 
Regiment of Foot. These were early times, and formal 
organizations at the local level had not yet materialized. This 
was true of Freemasonry. An informal St. John's Lodge of 
Friendship continued to meet at Fort Niagara. Within a few 
years of its inception, St. John's Lodge of Friendship was 
recognized and given the number 2 by some regulating Masonic 
body. In 1784, with peace restored to North America, St. John's 
Lodge of Friendship, No. 2, was Added to the Official List on 
the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Quebec (the Modems), and its 
warrant dated 1 780. It was given the number 1 1 on the 
Provincial Roll. The King's or 8th Regiment of Foot continued 
to garrison Fort Niagara after the Revolution for a few more 
years. Three years after the Rangers had been disbanded, John 
Butler moved to obtain a lodge for the small farming community 
of Niagara. Supported by Bros. Joseph Clement, John P. 
Clement and Ralfe Clench, John Butler [all Loyalists] petitioned 
the Grand Lodge of Quebec (the Modems) for a lodge on the 
west bank of the Niagara River. 

The warrant for St. John's Lodge No. 19 was granted on 
Oct. 19, 1787, Ralfe Clench becoming the Lodge Secretary. 

Ralfe Clench, bom in Schenectady, New York, joined the 
British side during the American Revolution and fought with 
General John Burgoyne in 1777. He later served with Captain 
Henry Bird and then Butler's Rangers. After the war, he settled 
at Niagara, now Niagara-on-the-Lake. A farmer, judge and 
political figure in Upper Canada, he accumulated a number of 
appointments to govemment posts in the Niagara District and 
served in the local militia, eventually becoming a Colonel. With 
Isaac Swayze, he opposed wording in land deeds that they 
believed compromised people's ability to sell their own land. 
With Swayze, he was elected to the Second, Third and Fourth 
Ridings of Lincoln in 1 800, both being re-elected in 1 804. 



Clench fought at Queenston Heights during the War of 1812, 
was captured by the Americans in 1813 and was released at the 
end of the war. Clench married Elizabeth Johnson who was the 
granddaughter of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant. 

St. John's Lodge No. 19 met in Newark, now Niagara-on- 
the-Lake, on the west bank of the Niagara River. 

It was about this time that St. John's Lodge of Friendship 
No. 2 moved from Fort Niagara to Queenston with George 
Forsyth and Robert Hamilton, both Loyalists, as senior officers. 
Probably aware of the lodge room once furnished by W.Bro. Sir 
William Johnson for Saint Patrick's Lodge No. 8 at Johnson 
Hall in 1766, Robert Hamilton may have followed suit in his 
Queenston mansion for St. John's Lodge of Friendship No. 2. 

The first Lodge in the Kingston area was St. James Lodge 
No. 14 P.R.Q. (No. 518 E.R.), warranted in 1781 by the 
Honourable John Collins, the Deputy Surveyor General, at the 
petition of eight Masons including the Loyalists, Major James 
Rogers, Captain John W. Meyers, Lieutenant William Buell, 
Lieutenant Solomon Johns and William Marsh. The first W. 
Master was Major James Rogers, Senior Warden being Captain 
John W. Meyers and Junior Warden being Lieutenant William 
Buell. The first meetings of this Lodge were held in the barracks 
at Kingston. 

An important Loyalist and Mason was Captain John W. 
Myers, one of the earliest settlers in Belleville. During the 
Revolutionary War, he served by undertaking many dangerous 
trips into enemy territory and, on one memorable occasion, he 
almost kidnapped the notorious rebel. General Schuyler. Myers 
ended the war as a Captain in a Loyalist Regiment called 
(Jessup's) Loyal Rangers. Captain John W. Meyers became a 
Mason in St. Andrew's Lodge No. 2, Quebec, in 1780 and in 
1790 he settled at what is now Belleville where he built a 
sawmill and engaged in trade, owning several sailing vessels. 

William Marsh UE (1738-1816) was from a Connecticut 
family with roots in Southern England. They had come to 
America in the late 1 7th century. Before the outbreak of the 
American Revolution, the Marsh family had settled in 
Manchester in what is now Vermont. For the first couple of 
years of the Revolution, Marsh served in the Green Mountain 
Boys, whose top priority was not so much fighting the British 
but making sure that the territory that would become Vermont 
was not swallowed up by New York State. It was because of this 
service that Marsh is often referred to as a Colonel. In 1 777, he 



joined Burgoyne and for the rest of the war and, several years 
afterward, worked in the Secret Service. He made several trips 
into Vermont and was heavily involved in the negotiations that 
almost brought Vermont about as a British Colony rather than 
the State it became. Although most of his children settled in 
Canada, William Marsh moved back to Vermont in the 1790s 
and remained there the rest of his life. His wife, Sarah, was a 
sister of the famous Loyalist, Jeremiah French UE. William 
Marsh UE is buried at East Dorset, Vermont, and his grave 
marker is adorned with numerous Masonic symbols." 

During the America Revolution, military units were formed 
to protect the Loyalists. One unit, formed in 1781, (Jessup's) 
Loyal Rangers, under the command of Major Edward Jessup, 
was created from several smaller companies including the 
Queen's Loyal Rangers. The responsibility of the regiment was 
to protect the Loyalists in the northern part of the Province of 
New York. J. Ross Robertson, in Volume I of The History of 
Freemasonry in Canada From Its Introduction in 1 749, reported 
that Sir John Johnson, son of Sir William Johnson, gathered a 
regiment of 800 recruits from the Johnson estates on the 
Mohawk River. This regiment was stationed on Lake Champlain 
where the soldiers were joined by their wives and children. In 
the autumn of 1783, the refugees reached Sorel, and in 1784 
ascended the St. Lawrence. Part of the battalion settled in the 
townships of Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamburgh and Matilda. 

The remainder of Johnson's regiment settled in June 1 784 in 
Edwardsburgh, Augusta and Elizabethtown. These orders were 
issued by Governor Frederick Haldimand when the newly 
established townships had no names but were numbered 6, 7 and 
8. The Craft was strong in Jessup's Corps. On May 7, 1783, a 
warrant was issued to a lodge in His Majesty's Loyal American 
Regiment by the Grand Lodge of New York, called the New 
Oswegatchie Lodge, No. 7. Oswegatchie was the old name of 
Ogdensburg, New York. The fortunate preservation of the 
Minute Book for the New Oswegatchie Lodge No. 7, warranted 
on June 12, 1783, provides the Masonic researcher with an 
insight into the close association between Loyalists and 
Freemasons. Rediscovered in 1889 in Leeds County, the first 
minutes were dated October 10, 1787 with the last entry being 
September 13, 1791. It must have worked at Ogdensburg from 
the date of its warranting until 1 787, when it was transferred to 
the north side of the St. Lawrence River, probably by some of its 
members who settled there. There were quite a number of half- 



pay British ofYicers in this Lodge. In 1 783, the first settlers in the 
Counties of Leeds and Grenville were ex-soldiers of the 
provincial military regiments under the command of Major 
Jessup of (Jessup's) Loyal Rangers and Major Rogers of 
(Roger's) King's Rangers. About June of 1784, these settlers 
came up and located on the banks of the St. Lawrence, a short 
distance west of the provincial line, and along the shores of the 
Bay of Quinte. In 1787, the first Masonic meeting of New 
Oswegatchie Lodge, No. 7 was held in the home of the Loyalist, 
Thomas Sherwood UE, who had been employed by the military 
authorities in secret work, going into the United States to enlist 
men for the service of King George III. 

There is a Minute Book of this Lodge from 1787 to 1791, in 
which the first six W.M.s were all Loyalists, including Captain 
John Jones (W.M., October 1787) who was persecuted by the 
Whigs, tied with a rope, dragged through the water, thrust into 
[the] Boston jail, escaped, and arrived at Quebec in 1780. 
Among his feats was the capture of his old enemy, the American 
general, Cushing. The next W.M., Lieutenant William Buell 
(June 1788), of the King's Rangers during the Revolution, had 
been the bearer of important despatches from Canada to New 
York. William Buell, the aforementioned United Empire 
Loyalist from Hebron, Connecticut, was the founder of 
Brockville. The New Oswegatchie Lodge, No. 7 was re-named 
Sussex Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 5, G.R.C., in 1822. 

The basic Masonic tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth 
have given rise to some interesting examples of chivalry in the 
midst of battle. A number of examples have been included in 
this paper. 

Stephen Burrett, later a Master of Rideau Lodge No. 25, 
Carleton County, Upper Canada, fought on the Loyalist side at 
the Battle of Bennington, Vermont, and later served in the 
Queen's Rangers. After the battle, he and his brother, William, 
found a wounded rebel [Patriot] Mason on the field, whom they 
nursed and saved. Some time later, they were apprehended and 
imprisoned at Bennington. Their guard, as fortune would have 
it, turned out to be none other than the brother whose life they 
had safeguarded. Shortly afterwards, guided and assisted by the 
brother, they made their escape. 

During the War of 1 8 1 2, a Loyalist Freemason, Captain John 
Clement, member of St. John's Lodge No. 19, observed an 
Indian about to scalp an American just wounded by a tomahawk. 
Seeing the British officer approaching, the American gave a 



Masonic sign of distress. Captain Clement threw the Indian back 
and ordered him away. He then secured medical aid for the 
American and had him conveyed to a farmhouse where he rested 
and recovered. The American prisoner was then released and 
returned to New York State. Some months later. Captain 
Clement was taken prisoner and jailed in New York. His jailer 
was the very man he had rescued. The fellow-Mason advised 
Bro. Clement that the jail door would be unlatched at dawn and 
a horse and cart would be made ready to take him back across 
the border. 

When the Canada Act of 1791 divided the Province of 
Quebec into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, there were 1 
Lodges in Upper Canada. Some Lodges held warrants from the 
Grand Lodge of Quebec while others held warrants from the 
Grand Lodge of England or the Grand Lodge of New York. 

George E. Mason observed that at the end of the conflict, by 
which the revolting colonies gained their independence and 
became the United States, the white population of the territory 
now comprised within the province of Ontario did not exceed 
two thousand. 

The Loyalists were refugees who came from different 
backgrounds. Among them were decommissioned officers from 
the British army, merchants, traders, professional people, 
farmers and surveyors. These people were chosen to form the 
beginnings of government. The leaders, men like John Graves 
Simcoe, William Jarvis, Aeneas Shaw, Robert Hamilton and 
Richard Cartwright, all Freemasons, favoured men who shared 
Masonic principles and often Masons found themselves shoulder 
to shoulder in governing the fledgling country. 

The new government established a Land Board for the 
District of Nassau and met at Niagara on June 24, 1 79L Present 
were W.Bro. Lt.-Col. John Butler, Bro. Major Peter TenBroeck, 
Bro. Robert Hamilton, Bro. John Burtch, all Freemason 
Loyalists, and five other gentlemen who passed a resolution to 
build a public house with a Mason's Lodge next to it. A start 
was made on the two-storey Freemasons Hall in 1 79 1 and it was 
ready for use the following summer. Meetings of the Craft were 
held on the upper floor while the ground floor was given over to 
the public. On July 29, 1792, Mrs. Simcoe records in her diary, 
There is no church here, but a room has been built for a Mason's 
Lodge where divine service is performed on Sunday. With the 
arrival of Lieut-Governor John Graves Simcoe, a Freemason, he 
decided to use the lower floor of the hall for meetings of the 



Legislature of Upper Canada, its first meeting taking place there 
on September 17, 1792. He also took part in the Masonic 
celebration of St. John's Day, December 27, 1792, in the 
Freemason's Hall, Newark, and the opening meeting of the 
Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada, August 26, 1795. 

Prior to the first meeting of the Legislature in Freemasons 
Hall, William Jarvis, a Loyalist, was appointed Provincial 
Secretary and Registrar, and had been appointed Provincial 
Grand Master of Upper Canada by the Grand Lodge of England. 

When Lieut.-Govemor Simcoe moved the Provincial 
Government to York in 1797 to better serve an expanding 
population and to distance itself from the American border, 
William Jarvis, in his position as the government's Provincial 
Secretary and Registrar, was required to transfer as well. He 
took the Masonic Grand Warrant and Grand Jewels with him to 
York. This was an unpopular move with the Niagara brethren 
who felt that the Provincial Grand Lodge belonged in Newark. 

Before the Revolution, Joseph Thayendanega Brant, a 
Mohawk, became a favourite of Sir William Johnson, the British 
Superintendent of the northern Indian Affairs of America who 
was extremely popular with the tribes under his supervision. In 
1759, following the death of his first wife. Sir William Johnson 
married Molly Brant, Joseph's sister. Sponsored by Sir William 
Johnson, Joseph Brant attended school in Connecticut w^here he 
learned to speak and write English, studying Western history 
and literature. From 1755 to 1759, he served under Sir William 
Johnson in the French and Indian War, becoming Johnson's 
close companion, helping him to run the Indian Department. 

In 1 774, Sir William Johnson died and was succeeded in his 
territories by his son, Sir John Johnson, and as Superintendent 
of the Indian Department by his son-in-law, Colonel Guy 
Johnson, both Freemasons. The Johnsons, together with Joseph 
Brant and Col. John Butler, were to become leaders of the 
Loyalist resistance in northwestern New York. About the year 
1776, Brant became the principal war chief of the confederacy 
of the Six Nations, due perhaps to the patronage of the Johnsons 
and the unusual circumstances in which he was placed. He also 
received a Captain's commission in the British army in charge 
of the Indian forces loyal to the Crown. Immediately following 
this commission. Brant first visited England where he was well 
received and admitted into the best society, including the British 
cabinet and nobility. During this trip, Brant received his 
Masonic degrees and had the distinction of having his Masonic 



apron given to him from the hand of King George III, a fellow- 
Mason. Returning home. Brant convinced the natives to side 
with the Loyalists in the Revolution and led them in many 
battles in the northern Thirteen Colonies. 

More than once Brant demonstrated his Masonic principles 
when dealing with the Patriots or Rebels. After the surrender of 
the American forces at the Battle of the Cedars on the St. 
Lawrence River in May 1776, Brant exerted himself to prevent 
the massacre of the prisoners. In particular, Captain John 
McKinstry, a member of Hudson Lodge No. 13 of New York, 
had been captured and was about to be burned at the stake. 
McKinstry, remembering that Brant was a Freemason, gave him 
the Masonic sign of appeal that secured his release and 
subsequent good treatment. When Captain McKinstry was taken 
prisoner by the British, and marked as a victim by the Indians to 
be put to death by fire. Brant, recognizing him as a member of 
the brotherhood, exerted himself for his rescue, and, in 
connection with some humane English officers, subscribed to 
purchase an ox, which they gave to the Indians for their carousal 
instead of the gallant prisoner. 

An American account of this incident states, in part: Already 
had he been fastened to the fatal tree, and the preparations for 
the human sacrifice were rapidly progressing, when, in the 
strong agony of his despair, and scarcely conscious of a hope, 
the captive made the great mystic appeal of a Mason in the hour 
of danger. It was seen, understood, and felt by the Chieftain 
Brandt [sic], who was present on the occasion. Brant at once 
interposed in his behalf, and succeeded, by the influence of his 
position, in rescuing his American Masonic brother from his 
impending fate. Having freed him from his bonds, he conducted 
and guarded him in safety to Quebec, where he placed him in the 
hands of the English, by whom he was permitted to return to 
America on his parole. Colonel McKinstry lived several years 
after to repeat, with great emotion, the history of this singular 
occurrence. McKinstry and Brant thereafter remained friends for 
life. Hudson Lodge No. 7, F. & A.M., Hudson, Columbia 
County, New York, held its first meeting in the home John 
McKinstry, of one of its charter members, on 1 8 December 
1 786. In 1 805, he and Brant together visited this Masonic Lodge 
in Hudson, New York, where Brant was well received and on 
whose wall his portrait now hangs. 

In 1779, Brant again attempted to save the life of a fellow- 
Mason, Lieutenant Boyd, who had been captured by the Loyalist 



forces. Boyd presented a Masonic sign of a distressed brother to 
Brant who immediately, and in the strongest language, assured 
him that his life should be spared. However, when Boyd and his 
fellow-prisoner. Private Parker, were questioned by Lieutenant- 
Colonel John Butler, in Brant's absence, both refused to divulge 
any information about the Patriot troops commanded by General 
Sullivan, also a Freemason. Butler demanded of the captive 
[Lieutenant Boyd] information which his fidelity to his 
commander would not allow him to give. Thus, in keeping with 
his military duty, Butler delivered Boyd and Parker to the 
Indians who put both of them to death by decapitation on 
September 13, 1779. 

On another occasion, a Patriot soldier, Jonathan Maynard, 
was captured by the Indians who prepared to put him to death. 
Brant happened to pass that way when Maynard was partially 
stripped for the torture and discovered Masonic symbols 
tattooed upon his arms. He at once interposed and saved the 
prisoner's life. 

Joseph Brant was once almost deceived by a Patriot who 
tried to capitalize on Brant being a Mason. It seemed to be 
generally known that he was a Freemason; and one well-to-do 
Provincial who had been taken captive sought to trade upon the 
circumstance. Conducted into the Chiefs presence, he gave the 
sign of the order. It transpired, afterwards, that he did not belong 
to the craft; still. Brant - passing by his colossal effrontery - 
though greatly incensed, resolved to protect him. 

Following the end of the Revolution, the Six Nations Indians 
were awarded a tract of 675,000 acres, located three miles back 
on either side of the Grand River. Brant, as their leader, led 
1,843 Mohawk and other Indian Loyalists there in 1 784 to settle 
and establish the Grand River Reservation. He granted 999-year 
leases to a number of white families, the Dochstaders, the 
Nelles, the Huffs, and the Youngs, all friends of Joseph Brant. 
Thus it was that the families of Adam Young UE, his three sons. 
Lieutenant John Young UE, Sergeant Daniel Young UE, and 
Private Henry Young UE, along with Captain Henry William 
Nelles UE, became the first white families to settle in 
Haldimand County, the Young Tract and the Nelles Tract each 
being approximately nine square miles in size, extending three 
miles back from the banks of the Grand River. Both Captain 
Henry William Nelles UE and Adam Young UE, fourth great 
grandfather of Robert Collins McBride UE, were also the first 
Freemasons to settle in Haldimand County. 



Joseph Brant became affiliated with Lodge No. 1 1 at the 
Mohawk village on the Grand River, of which he was the first 
Worshipful Master, and later affiliated with Barton Lodge No. 
10, being present at their first meeting on Jan. 31,1 796. In later 
years, the town of Brantford was named for him. 

Barton Lodge No. 1 received its warrant on November 20, 
1795. No fewer than 28 members were Loyalists, including 
Colonel Robert Land who was the first white settler at Hamilton 
where he built a lean-to in 1781. Richard Beasley was the first 
settler at Burlington Heights who, together with fellow-Masons 
and fellow-Loyalists, Richard Cartwright and Robert Hamilton, 
held a virtual monopoly in the import of goods for the early 
settlers of this part of Upper Canada. Three other original 
members of Barton Lodge No. 10 who were Loyalists were 
Lieutenant John Young UE and Sergeant Daniel Young UE, 
both third great-granduncles of Robert Collins McBride UE, as 
well as Sergeant John Coon UE, fourth great-granduncle of 
Robert Collins McBride UE. 

It is interesting to read, in the Minutes of the December 12, 
1800 meeting of Barton Lodge, the notation of a letter received 
from the Grand Secretary, informing this Lodge of Communi- 
cation received from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 
announcing the death of Right Worshipful Grand Master 
Washington, and requesting this Lodge go in mourning at their 
public and private meetings for six months, including their first 
meeting. It should be noted that communication in those days 
was such that it took a year for the death of George Washington, 
who had died on December 14, 1799, to become known at 
Barton Lodge. It is also recorded in these Barton Lodge Minutes 
that we now know Washington, as the whole world knows him, 
as a noble man, a pure patriot . . . our early brethren knew him 
as a republican while they were monarchists; as a successful 
rebel against their sovereign; as one whose triumph had made 
many of their neighbours, and some of themselves, exiles; but 
they also knew him as a Mason, and they forgot all else in that, 
and honoured him as an honoured member of the craft. 

In 1764-66, the 46th Regiment was in several American 
Colonies and tradition indicates that it was during this period 
that Lodge No. 227 became possessed of the famous Old Bible 
(published in 1712) which was used when General George 
Washington was initiated Nov. 4, 1 752, in Fredericksburg Lodge 
No. 4, F.& A.M., Virginia. This tradition seems to have very 
considerable documentary evidence to support it. 



General George Washington as well as many of his officers 
and men took their Masonic obligations seriously during the 
American Revolution. Thirty-three of the generals serving under 
Washington were members of the Craft. Ten of the signers of 
the Articles, nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, 
and 13 signers of the Constitution of the United States were, or 
would become. Freemasons. 

After the Battle of Stony Point, in July 1779, American 
troops took some papers and archives belonging to the British 
army and found among them the records of the English Field 
Lodge, Unity No. 18, whose members were in the Seventeenth 
Regiment, stationed in Pennsylvania. The warrant eventually fell 
into the hands of a Connecticut officer. General Samuel H. 
Parsons, also a Mason, who graciously returned it to the 
regiment with a fraternal message: however our political 
sentiments may impel us in the public dispute, we are still 
Brethren, and (our professional duty apart) ought to promote the 
happiness and advance the weal of each other. This incident, 
occurring amid hostilities between the United States and Great 
Britain, was remarkable evidence of the pervasiveness of the 
Masonic spirit in the eighteenth century. Although Masons 
served their respective countries, they remained loyal to the 
higher values of universal brotherhood and bore no personal ill 
will toward each other. 

In another instance, members of the English Field Lodge 
No. 237, upon their retreat, were forced to leave behind their 
Constitution and all their Masonic jewels. General George 
Washington returned all the Masonic property under escort of an 
officer and a guard of honour. When the guard of honour entered 
the British camp, it was welcomed with full military honours. 
The English regiment took parade formation and presented arms 
to the deputation from the enemy camp. Washington had also 
issued an order that all property of English Masons found among 
the spoils of war should be returned. 

In 1777-1778, a similar occurrence took place as the 46th 
Regiment was stationed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During 
this period its famous bullock chest, with brass mountings, 
containing the lodge warrant, working tools, regalia, etc., fell 
into the hands of the American troops; but it was shortly 
thereafter returned to the regiment by Brother General George 
Washington, under a flag of truce and a guard of honour. 

Another interesting event with a Masonic connection 
involves the story of Laura Secord. During the War of 1 8 1 2, 570 



American troops, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Charles G. Boerstler, of Maryland, planned to capture the supply 
depot at Captain John DeCou's Georgian-style stone house at 
Thorold, where Lieutenant James FitzGibbon had set up his 
headquarters. Captain John DeCou, third great grandfather of 
Robert Collins McBride UE, served in the Lincoln Militia but 
had been captured a few days earlier and sent to Philadelphia for 
execution. Laura Secord, whose husband, James, was a Mason, 
learned about the American plan and walked 20 miles by a 
circuitous route to reach DeCou House and warn FitzGibbon of 
the impending attack. 

FitzGibbon rallied his men and captured the American 
Infantry, a field piece and 50 dragoons at what has become 
known as the Battle of Beaverdams. Upon learning that the 
American Lieutenant-Colonel and one of his aides were fellow- 
Masons, FitzGibbon treated the men with more than the usual 
courtesy of war. A member of Barton Lodge, William Johnson 
Kerr, a son-in-law of Joseph Brant, was in command of the 
Indians in the Battle of Beaverdams. 

Why would Masonry prosper in Upper Canada? Certainly 
the outbreak of the American Revolution disrupted business and 
the Masonic community and caused many Lodges to suspend 
meetings for at least part of the war. The answer lies in what 
Masonry has to offer to the brethren. In Masonry, benevolence 
and charity has always been encouraged above all other virtues. 
Through Masonic affiliation, the brethren gain an instant 
relationship with men of like-minded thought and character. 
Freemasonry emphasizes a respect for tradition and encourages 
men to create a better world through reason, harmony and right 
conduct. During the Revolutionary times and thereafter, men 
have appreciated the fraternity as an agent of moral instruction 
and a stable response to the anxieties of upheaval by providing 
a sense of social order and encouraging high moral values. 

The political upheaval of the late eighteenth century made 
men seek social structures that would be stable in an uncertain 
world. When the American Revolution was over, post-war 
economic depression in Europe resulted in an influx of immi- 
grants coming to Canada. The Napoleonic wars occupied Europe 
and stretched the financial resources of the King's purse. 
Expansionist plans of the new Republic to the south created an 
ever-present threat to peace in Canada. These concerns were 
compounded by immediate concerns of trying to make a home 
in the dense forests of their new environment in Upper Canada. 



Masonry inculcates and promotes peace. It strives to settle 
quarrels and promote goodwill. Each lodge closes with harmony 
and the lessons learned in lodge, if taken to heart by the 
brethren, have a ripple effect in the community in which they 
live. Good men and good works spread harmony among the 
brethren. Time after time in the past, as in the present, Masons 
have been the best supporters of good government and order in 
society. The Loyalists, having in many cases suffered everything 
but death, found comfort and support in the Masonic fraternity 
and fellowship among other men seeking good. 

The principles held dear to the Loyalists were found equally 
in the moral teachings of Masonry. The relationship between 
Freemasonry and United Empire Loyalists were both close and 
mutually supportive. Examining the histories and Minute Books 
of early Lodge activity in Upper Canada augment the family 
stories of Masonic good works and chivalry during the 
American Revolution and the War of 1812. 

In the two centuries since the arrival of the United Empire 
Loyalists, the myths and realities of their heritage have 
intertwined to have a powerful influence on how we, as 
Canadians, see ourselves. Certainly their arrival created the two 
provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick but it also gave them 
special characteristics which can still be seen today, perhaps the 
most striking being the motto on the Ontario coat of arms: Ut 
incept sic per mane t fide I is, that is to say, As she began, so she 
remains, Loyal. 

Those Loyalists and their descendants who are Freemasons 
can also say that we believe in brotherly love, relief and truth. 



A Retrospective of the Early Years 
of John George Diefenbaker 

Cambridge Masonic Temple, Cambridge, Ontario 

Wednesday, Septmber 19, 2007 

Right Honourable John George Diefenbaker - 1895 - 1979 

It is most difficult, as one might imagine to compress into 
a few pages, the Hfe and times of one of Canada's leading 
sons, who's life spanned over 84 years, and so I have 
attempted to focus my attention, for the most part on the early 
life and career of Canada's' 13th Prime Minister; the Right 
Honorable John George Diefenbaker. 

He was bom in Normandy Township in Grey County just 
a little outside of Neustadt Ontario, on September 18, 1895. 
His father, William Thomas Diefenbaker and his mother, 
Mary Florence Bannerman had been married in May, of 1 894 
in the village of Underwood near Tiverton in Bruce County. 
His only other sibling, brother Elmer Diefenbaker, was bom 
there in 1 897 He and his brother, who was outgoing and was 
the exact opposite of John, were best of friends and loved 
each other dearly. It was during John's early childhood that 
he was introduced to two things which would assist in 
forming his personality: that of bigotry and class distinction. 
He had become friendly with two boys who were often 
derided because they were black and poor. Diefenbaker 
would write later on in life that the poor being treated 
differently, and the working man looked down upon as a 
number, absolutely filled him with revulsion. 



His fathers ancestry was German and his mother's was 
Scottish and he was fiercely proud of both. The original 
spelling of his surname was Diefenbacker and his paternal 
grandfather was called by it, until his death in 1902. 

I met John Diefenbaker when he was on the campaign 
trail in 1957. My mother, Shirley, was a devout Progressive 
Conservative supporter and I recall her being heavy with 
child, my brother Robert, during the campaign. I was 12 and 
tall for my age, and stood at about the height of Diefenbaker' s 
nose. He was most affable and cordial and answer all my 
questions without hesitation, the first being: What do you feel 
is in the policy oft he Progressive Conservatives that make my 
father so mad at them. My father Don was a staunch CCF 
man. My mother was horrified, but Diefenbaker laughed and 
stated: that he would be most happy to discuss the 
Progressive Conservative Policy with him at a time that was 
convenient to my father. My mother made me promise not to 
tell my father of this offer, and to keep secret my 
conversation with Diefenbaker; or be prepared to suffer an 
ancient penalty (and this was my first introduction to a secret 
oath) ... no home-made pies for the rest of my natural life . 
. . or something like that! 

I remember most vividly his brilliant and fiery speaking 
manner and marvelled at his commitment to a theme which 
would record him in the annals of Canadian history forever: 
We as Canadians will have one Canada! There must be no 
one person identifiable as a hyphenated Canadian either 
French-Canadian, Polish-Canadian, Ukrainian Canadian, nor 
Italian Canadian; stating further that this posture would, if 
continued cause the people of Canada to become fractious 
and not lend to the unifying theme of Canadians and Canada 
first. I will never forget his words as they have had an impact 
on me and form the basis of my own thinking to this day. 

In the spring of 1903, William Diefenbaker was 
diagnosed with galloping consumption and it was strongly 
recommended that the family for the sake of his health 
relocate to Western Canada where the climate was drier and 
would be more conducive to improving his health. 

William had received training in Ottawa as a School 
teacher and he was successful in securing a teaching position 
in Saskatchewan, which was then part of the North West 
Territories. When his relatives heard that the family was to 



relocate into the West they were horrified. What is the matter 
with you? Going to that awful country where there is noting 
but bears and Indians they kill you! 

The West was still a land of homesteads and the trains 
were loaded with immigrants representing all nationalities 
who hoped to secure a part of the vast farmland country 
thereby making a life for them and their family. William had 
little capital at his disposal so affording first-class 
accommodation to his family was out and they had to travel 
colonist class, with no dinning or sleeping facilities. Mary 
Diefenbaker had prepared for this eventuality by sending 
blankets and food to the train early with William. He had 
received bad directions form a railway worker and 
inadvertently put the stores on the wrong train. The trip was 
arduous and without the kindness of their fellow passengers, 
who shared their food and blankets with them the 
Diefenbaker' s children would certainly have been dire. Half 
way through their ordeal William became disenchanted and 
notified the family that they would be turning around and 
heading back to Ontario. Mary Diefenbaker' s Scottish resolve 
seen them through as she informed him that they had start the 
journey and they would finish it. William finally agreed. This 
would not be the only argument that he lost to Mary. 

They travelled trough Winnipeg and Regina, then headed 
northwest to Saskatoon which only had a population of 500 
at the time; and finally got off the train at Rosthem. After a 
two night stay in the Queen's Hotel the Diefenbaker' s loaded 
a wagon with all their worldly possessions and travelled to 
William's new School at Tiefengrund. 

One bright sun-shining morning in 1 903 young John burst 
into the kitchen to have his breakfast; and behold sitting there 
waiting to see his father, gun in hand, sat an Indian: Gabriel 
Dumont the great Metis General who became famous or 
infamous, along with Louis Riel during the Rebellion of 
1885, and subsequent victory at Duck Lake by the Metis. 
John knew who he was, everyone knew who he was and 
although Riel had been hanged after returning form the 
United States, Dumont had been granted freedom from 
prosecution under the Amnesty Act which was a move by Sir 
John Alexander Macdonald to appease the unrest caused by 
the hanging in Quebec. Dumont had been known to kill 12 
North West Mounted Police in the confrontation. As a result 



Macdonald ordered General Middleton and 5,000 troops to 
stamp out the Rebellion which he did successfully at the 
battle of Batoche. John would come to understand the plight 
of the First Nations people in years to come and became a 
voracious student of Canada Political History. Gabriel 
Dumont would be only the first of many famous people who 
Diefenbaker would meet over his life time. 

In 1904, when he was nine, John announced to his 
mother, after reading a book about Sir Wilfred Laurier, that 
he was going to be Prime Minister of Canada one day. His 
mother did not laugh, she was always a serious woman, but 
commented that might be difficult as John lived way out on 
the Prairies. However she finished by saying that if he 
worked hard enough there was no reason why he could not. 
John never forgot his mother's words. 

In 1 905, on September 1 st the whole family celebrated the 
creation of the Province of Saskatchewan and William 
organized the celebration in Hague; bought a dozen Union 
Jacks and put them up all over town there was much singing 
and merrymaking. 

In 1 908 when John was 1 3 (remember that John was shy 
and averse to speaking before an audience) he attended the 
Farmers' Institute with his father. The meetings were 
informational sessions about current problems in Agriculture, 
such as the difficulties in selling wheat on the market; and 
how farmers weren't able to stand up in court against farm 
machinery companies with faulty equipment. John became so 
infuriated with the way in which the Homesteaders were 
being treated that he rose to his feet and shouted: This thing 
is wrong! Some day I am going to do my part to put an end to 
this. The 30 or so delegates applauded wildly, and John 
would later write that he was so scared that he could hardly 
get the words out. However this occasion would help 
overcome his propensity not to speak in public. 

In 1910 his father moved the family to Saskatoon as he 
felt that it would be easier for John and Elmer to receive a 
good education. Saskatoon had benefited from the flow of 
people to the west and there were now over 1 0,000 people 
resident there. John who was always looking for a way to 
earn money, as his father you will recall was not an affluent 
man, got a job as a newsboy and started selling the Saskatoon 
Phoenix, the Calgary Eye-Opener and the Winnipeg Tribune. 



It was his task to sell the papers by hand before attending 
school in the morning and he had no time for idle 
conversation, he would never get ahead that way. He gathered 
his papers and set off to the train station to sell his wares. On 
approaching the platform the door of a private car opened and 
out stepped the Prime Minister of Canada Sir Wilfred Laurier 
who was in the town to lay a comer stone for the University 
of Saskatchewan. John felt sure that he could sell him a 
paper, and approached Mr. Laurier who without hesitation 
smiled and gave John 25 cents. The paper was only worth a 
nickel. John who was felling very brave at this point decided 
to ask Laurier a question about Canada. The boy and man 
spoke for a few minutes about the role of Prime Minister and 
John's interest in politics. However time was putting a 
squeeze on John and he stated: Sorry Prime Minister, I can 't 
waste any more time on you. I have work to do. And off he 
went selling the remainder of his papers. 

The brief meeting with Laurier was to be a turning point 
in Diefenbaker's life; and he realized that anyone could 
achieve anything he set his mind to as long as he was 
dedicated to work hard for it. But how does one become a 
political? He read and read becoming a sponge for every 
piece of material and biography he could get his hands on. 
Through his prodigious reading he came to realize that he 
would need to master two things well if he were to become a 
politician: the first was public speaking, the last the law. He 
was particularly drawn to the law, as he had read the 
biography of Abraham Lincoln who had his humble 
beginnings as a small town lawyer and went on to become 
President of the United States of America. So it seemed to 
John the logical choice for him to travel. 

In June, 1912, John graduated from Saskatoon Collegiate. 
In September he was enrolled in his first year at the 
University of Saskatchewan studying history, political 
science and economics. He received a taste of politics by 
taking part in the University's mock parliament and the first 
Provincial Boy's Parliament in Regina. In the second year be 
became leader of the Conservative party in the mock 
parliament and leader of the Opposition in the Boy's 
Parliament. In his third year the graduation newspaper, the 
Sheaf, predicted that Diefenbaker would be leader of the 
Opposition in Canada's Parliament in 40 years; they were 



only off the mark by one year. 

In March of 1916 he felt the call of war and enlisted. By 
May he had received his commission as a Lieutenant in the 
Infantry of the Active Militia and on September 23rd, he 
boarded the S.S. Lapland and departed for England. On his 
arrival in England he and his fellow officers were billeted in 
Napier Barracks in Shomcliffe, however accommodations 
were in short supply and they had to sleep on the cold 
concrete floors. This was a harsh welcome to Diefenbaker 
and his companions and a terrible sign of what was to come 
for them. 

On being sent to the front Diefenbaker laboured hard 
digging trenches; which proofed exhausting work. Within a 
month he reported that he was short of breath and coughing 
up blood. He was diagnosed with disordered action of the 
heart, and sent home. 

His brief military career over; he enrolled in university 
and he was able to pursue his goal of becoming a lawyer. The 
university had granted all veterans credit for war service so he 
was able to graduate in the spring of 1919 with his Degree in 

Diefenbaker established a Law Practice in Wakaw, 
Saskatchewan which was close to Saskatoon so it was easy to 
visit his parents there. He lived frugally and became 
engrossed in his work although he did take the time to travel 
to drive to Vancouver in 1 92 1 and Los Angeles in 1 923 in a 
Maxwell touring car which he purchased at a princely sum of 
$1,764.00. He also purchased a summer cottage at Wakaw 
Lake where he enjoyed fishing and hunting. 

John was introduced to Edna May Brower a slight, red- 
haired school teacher who his brother Elmer had introduced 
to him. Edna was a flapper, terminology used at the time to 
describe a free-willed fun-loving unconventional lady. Just 
what attracted these two opposites is unknown. However they 
spent considerable time together laughing, swimming and 
picnicking together. On one moonlit evening he told her his 
inner most desire which is to become Canada's first minister 
one day, saying that it was more than a goal it was his 
destiny. She did not laugh but like his mother stated that 
anything was possible if one were to work for it. And they set 
about discussing how this ambition might be accomplished. 



In the spring of 1925, John George Diefenbaker married 
Edna May Brower at Toronto's Walmer Road Baptist 
Church: they had decided on Toronto as that is were her 
brother Hved. The marriage acted like a catalyst in that it 
brought John out of his shell. He now became confident and 
shaking hands at the reception joking and laughing as he and 
Edna worked through the crowd. 

Although the Liberals had attempted to lure the brash, 
confident, upstart who everyone in Saskatchewan was coming 
to know, into their party in 1921, Diefenbaker declined their 
invitation, to their great surprise and amazement. 

In June of 1 925, Diefenbaker informed Saskatchewan that 
he was a Conservative; well actually he addressed a small 
group of people. Conservatives, at an organizing meeting in 
a small room in Prince Albert. It was his first official act as a 
Conservative. He threw himself into the work of the party and 
two months later he was acclaimed as the Federal Candidate 
for the Party. The Conservatives were literally non-existent 
politically as the Liberals held both provincial and federal 
seats in the respective Provincial and Federal assemblies. 

I will at this time introduce John Diefenbaker' s Masonic 
membership and Concordant Body affiliations He was 
introduced into the Craft receiving his first degree September 
1 1th, 1922; he was passed to the second degree October 9th, 
1922; and raised to the sublime degree of a master mason on 
November 7th, 1922, in Wakaw Lodge, No. 166, Grand 
Registry of Saskatchewan. He affiliated into Kinistino Lodge, 
No. 1 Prince Albert (after moving his law practice there in 
1923). Kinistino had started out as No. 381, Grand Registry 
in the Province of Ontario. 

He received his introduction into the Holy Royal Arch, 
receiving his Mark and Most excellent Master degrees 
September 1 6th, 1 924, and the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem 
on October 2 1 st, 1 924, in Prince Albert Chapter No. 2, Grand 
Registry of Saskatchewan. 

He was greeted into the Knight Templars, receiving the 
Red Cross and Malta degrees on November 15th, 1928, and 
Consecrated as Knight Templar on January 8th, 1929 in 
Prince Albert Preceptory, No. 53. 

He was created a Noble of Wawa Temple of the Shrine on 
January 23rd, 1929. When Ottawa masons formed the 



Shriners Temple (Tunis), Diefenbaker was named as the first 
Potentate when the members elected him Potentate; his name 
appearing in that capacity on the charter. The dispensation for 
Tunis was granted in 1975 at Toronto and the charter was 
issued in 1976 at Kansas City. 

He became a member of Lodge of Perfection and Chapter 
of Rose Croix in 1935, in the Valley of Saskatoon (no precise 
date). Became a member of Consistory in Regina in 1937. In 
Windsor, Ontario, in 1958 he was coroneted an Honorary 
33rd degree Inspector General. 

He was an honorary Member of Ad Astra Lodge, No. 54 
Grand Lodge of Newfoundland, Metz and was made an 
honorary Grand Master of the DeMolay in 1957. 

Although Diefenbaker was an active lawyer and politician 
people say that while he maintained his memberships in the 
Craft and Concordant Bodies, he did little active Masonry, 
given the demands of his career. He is, however, remembered 
in the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan as he was the keynote 
speaker at the Communication in June 1979. 

The 1 925 campaign was what only can be described as 
dirty politics as the Liberals; for they had labelled him a 
German and having German sympathies. Diefenbaker 
responded to these accusations in the only manner that any 
civilized person could ... he fought back with words. During 
a speech at the Orpheum Theatre in Prince Albert he attacked 
his opponents, stating that he was not a German, not a 
German-Canadian, but a Canadian! He asked of his 
opponents am I a German? My great-grandfather was a 
German; however my grandfather and father were bom in 
Canada. He went on to say that his grandfather and his 
grandmother on his mother's side spoke no English: being 
Scottish they spoke Gaelic! It was a rousing reply. He had 
made his point - although his Diefenbaker grandfather was 
bom in Germany and his mother's parents could speak 
English (these were little white fibs that did not harm 

He campaigned relentlessly throughout the riding. 
However, the Liberals were retumed to power and, worse for 
Diefenbaker, not one Conservative member was elected in 
Saskatchewan. His career however, as history recalls, did not 
end on that day and he was to experience many other 



disappointments as well as successes through his life; but he 
would always be remembered in Canadian History as the 
Prime Minister who believed in One Canada. 

I will end this with a quote from the funeral service on 
Parliament Hill by the Right Honourable Joe Clark, Prime 
Minister of Canada, who gave the following eulogy: 

We are not here to pass judgment on John 
Diefenbaker; we are here to celebrate the frontier 
strength and spirit of an indomitable man born to a 
minority group, raised in a minority region, leader of 
a minority party who went on to change the very 
nature of his country . . . and to change it 
permanently. He was much more than a statesman. 
Statesmen are strangers and John Diefenbaker was 
personal to most of the people of Canada. He main- 
streeted through life. In a very real sense, his life was 
Canada. Over eight decades he spanned our history, 
from the ox cart on the Prairies to the satellite in 
space. He shaped much of that history, all of it shaped 
him. Now that life . . . that sweep of history . . . has 
ended, and we are here today to see John Diefenbaker 
to his final resting place. 

Select References: 

One Canada: The memoirs of the Right Honourable John George 
Diefenbaker, Vol. 1; Macmillan, Toronto, 1975 

Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker, MacFarlane, 
Walter & Ross, 1 995 

Acknowledgement: I am grateful to R.W.Bro. Paul Todd and W.Bro. 
Michael Jenkyns for supplying the following: Masonic History: John G. 
Diefenbaker (notes), Paul Todd and Michael Jenkyns, 2007. 



We have been notified of the following members 
who have passed to the Grand Lodge Above 

We give thanks for the privilege of knowing them 
and sharing in their lives 



Georgina Lodge No. 343 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above August 3, 2006 


Edmonton, Alberta 

Prince of Wales Lodge No. 630 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above September 14, 2006 



Prince of Wales Lodge No. 630 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above March 22, 2007 



Kilwinning Lodge No. 565 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above September 2, 2006 



Union Lodge No. 380 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above December 5, 2006 



We give thanks for the privilege of knowing them 
and sharing in their lives 



Queen's Lodge No. 578 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above March 2007 



Doric Lodge No. 424 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above August 9, 2007 



Riverdale John Ross Robertson Lodge No. 494 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above October 27, 2006 



St. Clair Lodge No. 35 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above December 15, 2006 



Scarboro Lodge No. 653 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above August 15, 2007 



We give thanks for the privilege of knowing them 
and sharing in their lives 



Hillcrest Lodge No. 594 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above August 27, 2007 



Royal Edward Lodge No. 585 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above November 23 y 2006 



Faithful Brethren Lodge No. 77 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above January 13, 2007 



Fort William Lodge No. 415 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above February 5, 2006 



Simcoe Lodge No. 644 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above May 3, 2007 



We give thanks for the privilege of knowing them 
and sharing in their lives 



Melita Lodge No. 605 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above October 1 7, 2006 



Orient Lodge No. 339 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above July 20, 2006 



Temple Lodge No. 644 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above June 9, 2007 


Port Elgin 

Aldworth Lodge No. 235 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above March, 2007 



Melita Lodge No. 605 

Passed to the Grand Lodge Above January 21, 2006 




1978 Jacob Pos 

1979 K. Flynn*t 

1980 Donald G. S. Grinton 

1981 Ronald E. Groshaw 

1982 George E. Zwicker f 

1983 Balfour Le Gresley 

1984 David C. Bradley 

1985 C. Edwin Drew 

1986 Robert S. Throop t 

1987 Albert A. Barker 

1988 Edsel C. Steen t 

1989 Edmund V. Ralph 

1990 Donald B. Kaufman 

1991 Wilfred T. Greenhough t 

1992 Frank G. Dunn 

1993 Stephen H. Maizels 

1994 David G. Fletcher 

1995 Kenneth L. Whiting 

1996 Larry J. Hostine 

1997 George A. Napper 

1998 Gordon L. Finbow 

1999 P. Raymond Borland 

2000 Donald L. Cosens 

2001 William C. Thompson 

2002 Donald A. Campbell 

2003 Carl M. Miller 

2004 John H. Hough 

2005 Ebrahim Washington 

2006 Victor V. Cormack 

t Deceased 




Chips Editor/Marketing Brian E. Bond, Campbellcroft 

Editorial Board Sheldon Kofsky, Jordan 

Educational and Program Planning . . Donald B. Kaufman, Kitchener 

W. J. Dunlop Award Robert S. Throop t, Oshawa 

Finance Raymond D. Bush, Burlington 

Black Creek Masonic Heritage . . . Arnold McCausland, Mississauga 
Masonic Heritage Corporation Robert S. Throop ti Oshawa 


Western Ontario Districts 

Roger J. Gindon, 519-434-9030 - London 

Central Ontario Districts 

Glenn H. Gilpin t, 705-466-2185 - Creemore 

Prince Edward / Frontenac I St Lawrence 

Richard D. Burden, 613-399-2287 - Hillier 

Ontario I Peterborough I Victoria 

Donald E. Schatz, 705-466-2185 - Bridgenorth 

Toronto Districts 

John P. McLaughlin, 416-282-3083 - Toronto 

Niagara I Hamilton Districts 

Richard (Rick) Simpson, 905-871-3066 - Fort Erie 

Ottawa / Eastern Districts 

David R. Mackey, 613-836-1070 - Ottawa 

Northern Ontario Districts 

Alex Gray, 705-522-3398 - Sudbury 




Worshipftil Master Peter F- Irwin 905-885-2018 

Port Hope, Ontario 

Immediate Past Master . . Victor V. Cormacic 705-789-4187 

Huntsville, Ontario 

Senior Warden iVIiciiaei li^onomidis 905-668-9930 

Whitby, Ontario 

Junior Warden Brian E. Bond 905-797-3266 

Campbellcroft, Ontario 

Chaplain Joseph A. Das 416-291-6444 

Toronto, Ontario 

Treasurer Thomas W. Hogeboom 613-354-3593 

Napanee, Ontario 

Secretary Samuel Forsythe 905-831-2076 

Pickering, Ontario 

Assistant Secretary . . . Kenneth E. Campbell 613-476-7382 

Milford, Ontario 

Senior Deacon Kenneth D. Fralick 905-666-3954 

Whitby, Ontario 

Junior Deacon Louie J. Lombardi 905-637-3003 

Claremont, Ontario 

Director of Ceremonies Ebrahim Washington 416-281-3464 

Scarborough, Ontario 

Inner Guard Charles H. Reid 416-742-7878 

Toronto, Ontario 

Senior Steward David M. Sheen 519-941-8511 

Alton, Ontario 

Junior Steward Brian W. King 905-257-0449 

Oakville, Ontario 

Organist Emeritus Donald E. Schatz 705-292-7414 

Bridgenorth, Ontario 

Organist Murray S. Black 416-481-3186 

Toronto, Ontario 

Historian/Archivist Brian D. Stapley 905-832-8202 

Maple, Ontario 

Tyler David R. Mackey 613-836-1070 

Kanata, Ontario 
Auditor Donald R. Thornton Kingston, Ontario 
Auditor . . . William J. Finlay Kingston, Ontario